Australian Aquatic Biological

Australian aquatic biodiversity research and consultancy

Cherax punctatus from the Mary River drainage Queensland

Cherax punctatus

Cherax punctatus

This is one of four terrestrial Cherax crayfish that the ACP is researching. Cherax sp 1 from the Murray River is currently under description. Cherax rotundus from Fletcher Qld has had 2 papers published and research is ongoing. Cherax setosus from the Newcastle region NSW has just been redescribed and that only leaves Cherax punctatus. All Queensland Cherax species are currently under review by the ACP with a full review and revision of all species is due by 2013.

Cherax punctatus is a little known yabby from Queensland. There is next to nothing known about this species and as part of the Australia Crayfish Project we are researching this amazing species.

One of our research sites is a colony of C. punctatus at Moy Pocket near Gympie Queensland. The colony is on the side of a hill in a grazing paddock, there is a small stream at the base of the hill with a small farm dam constructed on the stream. This is Mary River drainage and the normal Cherax species in most of the creeks and streams in the area are Cherax sp 3. These are a species that was formally known as Cherax cuspidatus but now thanks to DNA analysis are classes as a new species with C. Cuspidatus now stops at the Tweed River.

Cherax punctatus will use streams but are not usually a stream crayfish. They have been referred to as a terrestrial crayfish and that’s where this colony was; well away from water, on the side of a hill, beneath grazing pasture.

Cherax punctatus

Looking down the hill. The colony starts in the grass on the side of the hill at the car just above the farm dam and small ephemeral stream at the hills base and the hillside is riddled with burrows to the camera position.


cherax punctatus

When I look down at my feet the burrows in the grass were indicated by large amounts of excavated clay at the burrows entrance


Cherax punctatus

Turning around and looking up the hill. Burrows extended over a broad area from the base of the hill, to the cattle yards at the top of the hill

The colony was discernable by the large amount of burrows riddling the hillside, these were scattered over a wide area with large amounts of freshly excavated clay indicating their presence. We attempted excavation of the burrows but at the time we were there the ground was dry and rock hard making excavation with hand tools far too difficult. We will be back continually over the next 2 years gathering biological information and during the next wet conditions we will excavate to gather burrow information.

Cherax punctatus

The underside of the claws are setose, though this specimens is not overly so.


Research & Aquaculture Director for Australian Aquatic Biological P/L
Team Leader for The Australian Crayfish Project
Director of Mid West Yabby & Fish Traders and RBM Aquaculture
Secretary of NSW Aquaculture Assoc Inc
Research Associate for Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Honorary Research Fellow, Queensland Museum

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  1. Peter gralikeApril 12, 2014 at 1:08 pmReply

    we have these all through our orchid in Eerwahvale, but do not catch them in the creek!

  2. StevenOctober 26, 2016 at 10:28 amReply

    Heaps in the paddock none near the dam, Mary Valley land yabbie, had no idea what was digging untill I pulled one out

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