Michigan Outlaws Self-Cloning “Marbled Crayfish”
The Michigan DNR has added another species to it's list of prohibited species. The newest member of the club is the "marbled crayfish". Not only are they not wanted in Michigan, but they also make the "least wanted" list of the Conference of Great Lakes and St Lawrence Governors and Premiers. These are not only an invasive species, but they have no need for males. Because they've learned to self-clone.
According to the Detroit News, the DNR says these crayfish, "pose a serious threat to the environment and economy." The reason:
All known specimens are genetically identical females that can produce up to 700 eggs per reproductive cycle without the need for fertilization.
So, they clone themselves, somehow. The DNR then goes on to say:
If a single marbled crayfish escaped captivity or was released into open water, it could have the potential of initiating an entire population because it can individually reproduce in large numbers.
If you do some investigating, nobody really knows where these things came from. They just starting popping up in aquariums in Germany in the 90s. They are found in the wild in Europe, but only because someone introduced them into the wild.
If you have one or more of these, "dispose of any specimens". And not into any lakes or streams. The DNR warns against flushing them down toilets because they may survive. What the DNR probably MEANT to say is, "that's how you get giant self-cloning crayfish roaming the sewer system."
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