A new species of all-female crayfish that are able to reproduce alone are rapidly multiplying and invading ecosystems all over the world, according to a new study.
The voracious species, known as the marbled crayfish, has mutated to allow reproduction by itself, the new scientific study said.
Despite a warning against keeping the pests as pets, lovers of the crustaceans are able to purchase them online in Canada and the US.
The mutant crayfish, which scientists say can multiply at an alarming rate, have already been banned by the European Union.
The invasive species were described as a threat to wild crayfish by researchers involved in a new study published in the journal Nature, Ecology and Evolution.
Dr Wolfgang Stein, one of the researchers, said the creature is able to multiply hundreds of times within the space of just a few months.
Dr Stein told Canadian public broadcaster CBC: “If you have one animal, essentially, three months later, you will have 200 or 300,”
The crustaceans can be bought in some pet shops in Canada and through online adverts. One online seller offered a one-inch self-cloning marbled crayfish for free and five larger ones for C$20.
And according to one eBay advert, online buyers in the US can purchase four of the self-cloning crayfish for $33.