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Barbi Crayfish

From episode #2102: Big and small, we’ve told you about many kinds of animals living on the wild side of our beautiful state. Today we have a story about a mysterious creature that is supposed to be small. But actually this little critter grows to be big…big for its species, that is. Most of the time it’s hidden from our view but to those who have seen it, there’s no mistaking what it is and what it’s grip can do to you if you’re not careful. Wild Side Guide Alan Griggs takes us to Macon County, where a resident of some creeks in the area is described as a big shrimp or a small lobster.

The future for the Barbi, as with other aquatic animals, is linked to its habitat. While all crayfish play an important role in breaking down leaf matter, helping to keep streams unclogged while providing food for larger animals, small streams are susceptible to pollution of all kinds. That’s one of the reasons why the Nashville Zoo has plans to create a crayfish exhibit and a reproduction program for some of the rare crayfish in our state.

To find out more about Barbicambarus, visit these websites:

For a listing of rare animals in Tennessee, visit