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What lurks below

March 30, 2014

I know the photograph below is blurred but I am continuing the great tradition of indistinct shots of aquatic beasts. Who ever saw a crystal clear image of the Loch Ness Monster?
DSCN4230On my bicycle ride to the post office in Hazeldene I often stop on top of Coonans Bridge on the off-chance of glimpsing a platypus or a rakali. Sometimes I have been lucky. On this occasion I looked down and saw the two large white claws of a freshwater crayfish. As I saw it, it saw me and I had only one chance to take a photo. (Note to self—next time don’t leave the camera on manual focus!)
Given the white claws and where I saw it, my guess is that the creature in question is a freshwater crayfish of the species Euastacus, commonly known as the Spiny Crayfish because of the short spikes on the shell. The Spiny Crayfish is restricted to south-eastern mainland Australia and lives in permanent water sources at mid to high altitudes. The other common species of freshwater crayfish in our area is Cherax, commonly known as the yabby. It has a smooth shell and inhabits both permanent and ephemeral aquatic environments, including our dam. I only ever get to see yabbies (or bits of them) after a rakali (Hydomys chrysogaster) has had one for lunch (click HERE to view).

The freshwater crayfish has now joined the watch-list from Coonans Bridge. Next time I’ll make the picture even more out of focus and truly pass the creature off as Nessie.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. John and Lesley permalink
    March 30, 2014 6:01 pm

    Another interesting and engaging article , thanks.

  2. March 30, 2014 7:46 pm

    we stop here usually on our way to Strath creek swim school. Now I will have to go have a look!

    • ronlit permalink*
      March 31, 2014 9:56 am

      Make sure your camera is set on auto-focus!

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