EpochCatcher | Non-Native Species

In my never-ending quest for new species in southeast Virginia, I often happen upon animals that are not native to the Commonwealth.  In fact, some of these animals are not even native to the western hemisphere.  Yes, that's right; there are aliens among us.

Red Swamp Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)

Behold: the Red Swamp Crayfish, a crustacean native to the bayous of the "Deep South" in the United States, thriving around a reservoir in Newport News, Virginia.  These aggressive critters are hardy, and it's not unusual to find them crawling about on land.  They can tolerate dry spells of up to four months.Wharf Roach (Ligia exotica)

Another non-native crustacean, which also resembles an alien, is the isopod, Ligia exotica, commonly known as the wharf roach.  From its scientific name, you can easily guess that it's an exotic animal, although, since it has successfully colonized every continent aside from Antarctica, no one can pinpoint its native range.  Scientists believe that they originated from Asian coastlines.

Chinese Mantis Red Lionfish Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) Red-Eared Slider Female