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Beware the destructor

March 19, 2023

Creatures of the phylum Arthropoda consist of fauna such as insects, spiders and centipedes, all regular subjects of this blog. They are all characterised by having a hard outer shell. Arthropods also include crustaceans such as crayfish. They are distinguished from others in the phylum by having two sets of antennae. The freshwater varieties in Australia are known by different names. Locally the smooth shelled crustaceans found in dams are called yabbies and are the species Cherax destructor.

Yabbies are highly adaptable tolerating a range of water quality and water temperature conditions. As a result their natural range is large extending throughout Victoria, through western NSW into Queensland.

In Flowerdale Ashton Fontana has been recently fishing yabbies out of their dam. These things are not small. Their current record is a ‘claw-tip to tail’ length of over 24 cm (pictured right). For those who want these crayfish in their dams beware. The species name is well founded given the amount of destruction they wreak burrowing into dam walls.

Be careful what you wish for.

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