Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve

Mountain Freshwater Crayfish

Euastacus urospinosus

Mountain freshwater crayfish - Euastacus urospinosusThis little crayfish is part of the Euastacus or Spiny crayfish genus. It does not have the long spines normally found on other species in this genus.

This crayfish is restricted in distribution to upland streams of the Blackall and Conondale Ranges, above altitudes of 240 metres.

During the day it lives in burrows dug into the creek bank with normally only one crayfish occupying each burrow. They are slow to mature compared to many crayfish species with females taking up to six years to reach maturity.

They are listed as endangered on the IUCN 'Red List' of Threatened Species. Threats include disturbance to stream banks and burrows, urban development and water pollution, hence the need to protect habitat and monitor water quality.

Researchers found this crayfish absent from cleared grazing land near the Reserve, making this rainforest a vital habitat. Keep an eye out for the burrow openings surrounded by mud balls along the Piccabeen boardwalk.

(Illustration by Robyn Graham)

 

More amazing animals . . .

Rainforest Gardeners - Red legged pademelon - Pink underwing moth
Mountain crayfish - Great barred frog - Angle-headed dragon
Red-bellied black snake - Marbled frogmouth

 

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