Difference Wiki

Crawfish vs. Lobster: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 23, 2024
Crawfish are small, freshwater crustaceans, resembling small lobsters, while lobsters are larger, mainly marine crustaceans, known for their larger claws and commercial value.

Key Differences

Crawfish, also known as crayfish, typically inhabit freshwater environments like rivers and lakes. Lobsters, in contrast, are primarily found in saltwater habitats, such as oceans and seas.
Crawfish are generally smaller, usually measuring up to 6 inches in length. Lobsters are much larger, with some species growing over a foot long.
Both have a similar body structure with a joined head and thorax, and a segmented body, lobsters usually have a more robust build and significantly larger claws compared to crawfish.
Crawfish are a popular delicacy in southern U.S. cuisine, often boiled in spicy seasonings. Lobsters are considered a luxury seafood item globally, famous for their tender meat, especially in the claws and tail.
There are hundreds of species of crawfish with varying colors and sizes. Lobsters also have different species, like the American lobster and the spiny lobster, each with unique characteristics.

Comparison Chart


Freshwater environments.
Saltwater, mostly marine settings.


Smaller, up to 6 inches.
Larger, often over a foot in length.

Physical Appearance

Smaller claws, varied colors.
Larger claws, robust body.

Culinary Popularity

Popular in southern U.S.
Considered a luxury seafood item.

Species Diversity

Hundreds of species.
Several distinct species.

Crawfish and Lobster Definitions


A small, freshwater crustacean, similar to a lobster.
We caught a dozen crawfish in the creek.


A large marine crustacean with a hard shell and claws.
He ordered a lobster at the seaside restaurant.


Often used in regional cuisines, particularly in spicy dishes.
The crawfish boil is a traditional southern feast.


Predominantly found in ocean habitats, including reefs and rocky bottoms.
Lobsters are commonly caught in traps set along the ocean floor.


Inhabitant of rivers, streams, and lakes.
Crawfish can often be found under rocks in rivers.


Comes in various types, like American and spiny lobsters.
The spiny lobster is known for its long, antenna-like structures.


Known for its sweet, tender meat, despite its small size.
Crawfish meat is a delicacy in Cajun cooking.


Known for its rich, tender meat, especially in its tail and claws.
Lobster tail is often served with butter sauce.


A species rich in variety, differing in size and color.
The red swamp crawfish is common in Louisiana.


A symbol of luxury in seafood cuisine.
Lobster is often the most expensive item on the menu.


Variant of crayfish.


Any of several edible marine decapod crustaceans of the family Nephropidae, especially of the genus Homarus, having stalked eyes, long antennae, a pair of large pincers, and a cylindrical body.


To withdraw from an undertaking.


Any of several similar crustaceans, such as a spiny lobster.


Where do lobsters live?

Mostly in the ocean, in a variety of marine habitats.

What is a crawfish?

A small freshwater crustacean similar to a mini lobster.

Where do crawfish live?

In freshwater environments like rivers and lakes.

Are crawfish and lobsters related?

Yes, they both belong to the crustacean family.

What is a lobster?

A large marine crustacean known for its meat and claws.

How big can crawfish get?

They usually grow up to 6 inches in length.

What's a popular way to cook lobster?

Boiling or grilling, often served with butter.

Can you eat lobster?

Yes, lobster is a well-known seafood delicacy.

How big can lobsters get?

Some species can grow over a foot long.

What part of the crawfish is edible?

Mostly the tail meat is consumed.

Are crawfish and lobster sustainable seafood choices?

This depends on the species and fishing practices.

What parts of the lobster are edible?

The tail, claws, and sometimes the body and legs.

Is crawfish farming common?

Yes, particularly in regions like Louisiana.

Is lobster farming common?

It's less common due to the complexity of their lifecycle.

Are lobsters found in freshwater?

No, they are primarily marine animals.

Can you eat crawfish?

Yes, they are popular in certain regional cuisines.

Are crawfish cooked alive like lobsters?

Yes, they are often boiled alive in seasoned water.

Can you find crawfish in the ocean?

No, they are freshwater creatures.

Do crawfish have claws?

Yes, but they are much smaller than lobster claws.

Are lobsters always red?

No, they turn red when cooked but can be various colors.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons