Australian Aquatic Biological

Australian aquatic biodiversity research and consultancy

Taxonomy, distribution and ecology of the Setose Yabby, Cherax setosus

Jason and I have been researching the setose yabby for some time now. This is one of the four terrestrial type Cherax crayfish that occur in Australia and it is part of a series of research projects on these four species (Cherax rotundus, Cherax sp. nov., Cherax punctatus and Cherax setosus). All these species prefer terrestrial habitats and display heavy setation on the lateral propodal surface of the claws.


We have researched Cherax rotundus and published a paper on our research:  O’Brien, A., Coughran, J. and McCormack, R.B. 2009. On the existence of Cherax rotundus in the Severn area, south-eastern Queensland. Queensland Naturalist 47(4-6): 41-51.

Cherax rotundus as never been found again in the wild, we only have the museum specimens

Cherax rotundus as never been found again in the wild, we only have the museum specimens

 

Cherax rotundus has lateral propodal setation

Cherax rotundus has lateral propodal setation

Research continues on this species so stay tuned for further updates.

I am researching the Swamp Yabby Cherax sp. nov. from the Murray flood plain with Tarmo Raadik and hopefully we will publish a paper on that species later this year.

The swamp yabby Cherax sp. nov. from the Murray River floodplain

The swamp yabby Cherax sp. nov. from the Murray River floodplain

 

The swamp yabby also has propodal setation on the claws

The swamp yabby also has propodal setation on the claw

Cherax punctatus is a work in progress with Paul Van der Werf and we expect to have a paper ready for publication by 2013.

Cherax punctatus from the Mary River Queensland

Cherax punctatus from the Mary River Queensland

Cherax punctatus has the least setation on the propodus of all 4 species

Cherax punctatus has the least setation on the propodus of all 4 species

That leaves the Setose Yabby Cherax setosus and Jason have finally finished research on this amazing animal and we have just published a paper:

McCormack, R.B. & Coughran, J.  Taxonomy, distribution and ecology of the Setose Yabby, Cherax setosus (Riek 1951).  Crustacean Research, No. 40: 1 – 11, 2011                                                                                                  Abstract.-Although it occurs near one of Australia’s largest cities, there is a remarkable lack of information on the Setose Yabby, Cherax setosus. The morphology of the species has never been thoroughly described, and basic information on its distribution and ecology is required. In this paper, we give a thorough redescription of the species and present data on its distribution, habitat and general biology. Cherax setosus is a medium-sized crayfish with a lowland, coastal distribution extending from just south of Taree to just north of Morisset in eastern New South Wales, a northeast-southwest distance of approximately150km. The species is rarely found in permanent aquatic habitats in the area, but builds extensive burrow networks in minor, ephemeral habitats such as gullies, roadside ditches, stump holes, swamps and pastures. Although it appears to be relatively common across its range, the species may be susceptible to impacts such as reproductive interference with the translocated crayfish C. destructor and predation on juveniles by the introduced plague minnow, Gambusia holbrooki.

The setose yabby Cherax setosus from Port Stephens NSW

The setose yabby Cherax setosus from Port Stephens NSW

 

Cherax setosus has the thickest propodal setation of all 4 species

Cherax setosus has the thickest propodal setation of all 4 species

 

 

 

 

 

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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