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Yabby

Cheerax destructor

Yabby
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Yabby Cheerax destructor
The yabby (Cheerax destructor) is a freshwater crayfish that is native to south eastern Australia, as far inland as the border of South Australia. Some of them can grow really big, up to 20 cm long. They are common in dams and streams.

Yabbies live under rocks or leaf litter in streams, and in dams and lakes they dig burrows in the mud. In periods of drought, they dig burrows deep underground (up to 2 metres) and live there until it rains.

Yabbies mainly eat leaf litter and other vegetable matter, but if a piece of meat is dropped in the water, they will eat it to keep the water clean. They have very strong claws with serrated edges, which they will use to pick up food and also to defend themselves. A peculiarity is that if they lose a leg or claw, they can grow it back.

After yabbies spawn, the female carries her eggs under her tail for about 3 weeks, until they hatch. Young yabbies are about 0.02 grams when they hatch, and are fully grown after about 2 to 3 years.

Yabbies in the dam near Goulburn, Australia

Common Names
There are 40 species of the crayfish Cherax and is the largest and most widespread genus in the Southern Hemisphere. They can be found in lakes, rivers and streams across Australia and New Guinea.
Common name Scientific Name Where Found
Yabbie crayfish, Australian Yabby, Yabby, Yabbies Cherax destructor South eastern Australia
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Suborder: Pleocyemata
Infraorder: Astacidea
Superfamily: Parastacoidea
Family: Parastacidae
Genus: Cherax
Species: There are about 40 species including:
C. destructor
Other links - Yabby
If there are any factual errors, please email us.
Sea-Ex Has information on the yabby.
Victorian Department of Primary Industries Check out the great information on the Biology of Yabbies (cherax destructor). Just type "yabby" in their search box.

 

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