Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Article
Published: 2021-08-26

Cherax latimanus sp. nov., a new burrow-dwelling freshwater crayfish (Decapoda, Parastacidae) from the mid-Murray River catchment, Australia

Australian Crayfish Project, c/- Australian Aquatic Biological Pty Ltd, P.O. Box 3, Karuah, NSW, 2324, Australia, and Research Associate, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Section of Invertebrate Zoology, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4080 USA.
Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, 123 Brown Street, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084, Australia, and Honorary Associate, Museums Victoria, Sciences, P.O. Box 666, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia.
Crustacea taxonomy Crustacea Cherax destructor yabby yabbie morphology Barmah wetland Murray River Murray-Darling Basin

Abstract

A new species of freshwater crayfish in the southern hemisphere family Parastacidae is described from the Murray Darling Basin (MDB), eastern Australia. The Swamp Yabby, Cherax latimanus sp. nov., is found in the mid-Murray River area of the states of New South Wales and Victoria and is only the third species of Cherax found naturally occurring in the MDB. It is morphologically distinguished from all other species of Cherax by the presence of marginal mesial dactylar basal spines and extensive ventral propodal setation. It is found in sympatry with the widespread but morphologically similar Common Yabby, Cherax destructor Clark, 1936, but can be distinguished by a suite of morphometric and meristic characters that include a broad rostrum lacking an apical spine, very broad chelae with deep punctations on the lateral propodal edge and ventral propodal setation, two prominent dactylar teeth, one mesial carpal spine, dorsal meral spines present, no setae on carpal mesial margin, cervical spines absent or tiny, and by genetic data. Cherax latimanus is further diagnosed by its distinctive biology: it is not found in permanent aquatic habitats such as streams or billabongs, spending the majority of its time in extensive, terrestrial, burrow networks containing some water, in ephemerally wet habitats such as drainage lines, roadside drains, depressions, swamps and cleared areas of pasture in lowland to foothill areas. It is occasionally found in stream habitats but only during large flood events when burrow systems are inundated.

 

References

  1. Ahyong, S.T. (2014) Diversity and distribution of Australian freshwater crayfish with a check-list of the world Parastacidae and a key to genera (Decapoda, Astacidea, Parastacoidae). In: Yeo, D.C.J., Cumberlidge, N. & Klaus, S. (Eds.), Advances in Freshwater Decapod Systematics and Biology. Crustaceana Monographs, 19, 245–271. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004207615_015
    Anon (2018) Strategic Action Plan: Protection of floodplain marshes in Barmah National Park and Barmah Forest Ramsar Site, 2019–2023 (Draft for consultation). Parks Victoria, Melbourne, 70 pp.
    Anon (2017) Swamp Yabby (Cherax rotundus) Ecological Risk Screening Summary. U.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Service, revised December 2017, 11 pp.
    Austin, C.M. (1996) Systematics of the freshwater crayfish genus Cherax Erichson (Decapoda: Parastacidae) in northern and eastern Australia: electrophoretic and morphological and habitat variation. Australian Journal of Zoology, 44, 223–258. https://doi.org/10.1071/ZO9960259
    Austin, C.M., Nguyen, T.T.T., Meewan, M.M. & Jerry, D.R. (2003) The taxonomy and phylogeny of the ‘Cherax destructor’ complex (Decapoda: Parastacidae) examined using mitochondrial 16S sequences. Australian Journal of Zoology, 51, 99–110. https://doi.org/10.1071/ZO02054
    Austin, C.M. & Ryan, S.G. (2002) Allozyme evidence for a new species of freshwater crayfish of the genus Cherax Erichson (Decapoda: Parastacidae) from the south-west of Western Australia. Invertebrate Taxonomy, 16, 357–367. https://doi.org/10.1071/IT01010
    Ayres, R., Johnson, G. & Lyon, J. (2012) Freshwater Fish, Crayfish and Turtles of North East Victoria. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne. [brochure]
    Bentley, A.I. (2014) Contemporary and historical influences on the taxonomy and distributions of Cherax species in south eastern Queensland, Australia. PhD Thesis, Griffith University, Brisbane, 237 pp.
    Clark, E. (1936) The freshwater and land crayfishes of Australia. Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria, 10, 5–58. https://doi.org/10.24199/j.mmv.1936.10.01
    Clark, E. (1941) New species of Australian freshwater and land crayfishes (Family Parastacidae). Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria, 12, 31–40. https://doi.org/10.24199/j.mmv.1941.12.02
    Coughran, J. (2005) Cherax leckii n. sp. (Decapoda: Parastacidae): a new crayfish from coastal, northeastern New South Wales. Fishes of Sahul, 19 (4), 191–196.
    Coughran, J. & Daly, G. (2012) Potential threats posed by a translocated crayfish: the case of Cherax destructor in coastal drainages of New South Wales, Australia. Crustacean Research, Special Number 7, 5–13. https://doi.org/10.18353/crustacea.Special2012.7_5
    Coughran, J., Dawkins, K.L., Hobson, R. & Furse, J.M. (2012) Two new freshwater crayfishes (Decapoda: Parastacidae) from Whitsunday Island, The Coral Sea, Australia. Crustacean Research, Special Number 7, 45–57. https://doi.org/10.18353/crustacea.Special2012.7_45
    Coughran, J., McCormack, R.B. & Daly, G. (2009) Translocation of the yabby Cherax destructor into eastern drainages of New South Wales, Australia. Australian Zoologist, 35 (1), 100–103. https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2009.009
    Crabb, P. (1997) Murray-Darling Basin Resources. Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Canberra, 300 pp.
    Crandall, K.A. & De Grave, S. (2017) An updated classification of the freshwater crayfishes (Decapoda: Astacidea) of the world, with a complete species list. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 37 (3), 615–653. https://doi.org/10.1093/jcbiol/rux070
    Edney, G.N., McNeil, D.G. & Lawler, S.H. (2002) The swamp yabby (Cherax sp.) of the Murray River catchment. Victorian Naturalist, 119 (4), 200–204.
    Elvey, W., Richardson, A.M.M. and Barmuta L. (1997) Interactions between the introduced yabby, Cherax destructor, and the endemic crayfish, Astacopsis franklinii, in Tasmanian streams. Freshwater Crayfish, 11 (1), 349–363.
    Eprilurahman, R. (2014) Molecular taxonomy and evolution of freshwater crayfish of the genus Cherax (Decapoda: Parastacidae) from northern Australia and New Guinea. MSc Thesis, Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory, 142 pp.
    Furse, J.M., Burnham, Q.F., Dawkins, K.L. & Richardson, A.M.M. (2016) Oceanea: the freshwater crayfish of the Oceania Region. In: Kawai, T., Faulkes, Z. & Scholtz, G. (Eds.), Freshwater Crayfish. A Global Overview. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 485–582.
    Geddes, M. (1990) Crayfish. In: Mackay, N. & Eastburn, D. (Eds.), The Murray. Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Canberra, pp. 302–307.
    Hale, J. & Butcher, R. (2011) Ecological character description for the Barmah Forest Ramsar Site. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra, 98 pp.
    Hobbs, H.H. Jr. (1974) Synopsis of the families and genera of crayfishes (Crustacea: Decapoda). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 164, 1–32. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810282.164
    Horwitz, P. (1990a) The translocation of freshwater crayfish in Australia: potential impact, the need for control and global relevance. Biological Conservation, 54, 291–306. https://doi.org/10.1016/0006-3207(90)90142-C
    Horwitz, P. (1990b) A taxonomic revision of species in the freshwater crayfish genus Engaeus Erichson (Decapoda: Parastacidae). Invertebrate Taxonomy, 4, 427–614. https://doi.org/10.1071/IT9900427
    Horwitz, P. & Austin, C.M. (1995) Preliminary key to species of Australian freshwater crayfish (Parastacidae). In: Horwitz, P. (Ed.), A preliminary key to the species of decapoda (Crustacea: Malacostraca) found in Australian inland waters. Identification Guide No. 5. Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology, Albury, pp. 7–50.
    Horwitz, P. & Knott, B. (1995) The distribution and spread of the yabby Cherax destructor complex in Australia: speculations, hypotheses and the need for research. Freshwater Crayfish, 10, 81–91.
    Howe, A. (1995) Swamp Yabby. Land for Wildlife News, 2 (10), 14.
    Jones, H.A. (2011) Chapter 6. Crustaceans and molluscs. In: Rogers, K. & Ralph, T.J. (Eds.), Floodplain Wetland Biota in the Murray-Darling Basin. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, pp. 275–310.
    Lawrence, C.S., Morrissy, N.M., Bellanger, J. & Cheng, Y.W. (1998) Final Report FRDC Project 94/75: Enhancement of commercial yabby production from Western Australian farm dams. Fisheries Research Report 112. Department of Fisheries Western Australia, Perth, 134 pp.
    Lawrence, C.S., Morrissy, N.M., Vercoe, P.E. & Williams, I.H. (2006) Cherax of south-eastern and central Australia. Part 3: Differences in growth rate, size at sexual maturity and sex ratio. Freshwater Crayfish, 15, 24–35.
    Littlejohn, P. (2001) The unnamed yabbie from Victoria. Fishes of Sahul, 15 (2), 754–756.
    Lynas, J., Storey, A. & Knott, B. (2007) Introduction and spread of crayfish (Parastacidae) in Western Australia and their potential to displace indigenous species. In: Gherardi, F. (Ed.), Biological Invaders in Inland Waters: Profiles, Distribution and Threats. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 577–596. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6029-8_31
    McCormack, R.B. (2005) Cherax rotundus (Barmah Forest Yabby, Barmah Swamp Yabby, Spanner Claw Yabby). RBM Newsletter 2 (December), 7.
    McCormack, R.B. (2008) The Freshwater Crayfish of New South Wales Australia. Australian Aquatic Biological Pty Ltd., Karuah, New South Wales, 138 pp.
    McCormack, R.B. (2014) New records and review of the translocation of the yabby Cherax destructor into eastern drainages of New South Wales, Australia. Australian Zoologist. 37 (1), 85–94. https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2014.006
    McCormack, R.B. & Coughran, J. (2011) Taxonomy, distribution and ecology of the Setose Yabby, Cherax setosus (Riek, 1951). Crustacean Research, 40, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.18353/crustacea.40.0_1
    McKinnon, L.J. (1997) Monitoring of fish aspects of the flooding of Barmah Forest. Final report to the Murray-Darling Basin Commission for Natural Resources Management Strategy Project V014. Marine and Freshwater Resources Institute, Victoria, 184 pp.
    MDBA (Murray-Darling Basin Authority) (2009), Flora and Fauna of the Murray-Darling Basin. Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Canberra. [poster]
    MDBA (2019) Basin-wide Environmental Watering Strategy. 2nd Edition. MDBA Publication 42/19. Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Canberra, 145 pp.
    Miller, A., Nguyen, T., Burridge, C. & Austin, C. (2004) Complete mitochondrial DNA sequence of the Australian freshwater crayfish, Cherax destructor (Crustacea: Decapoda: Parastacidae): a novel gene order revealed. Gene, 331, 65–72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2004.01.022
    Morgan, G.J. (1986) Freshwater crayfish of the genus Euastacus Clark (Decapoda: Parastacidae) from Victoria. Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria, 47 (1), 1–57. https://doi.org/10.24199/j.mmv.1986.47.01
    Munasinghe, D.H.N., Burridge, C.P. & Austin, C.M. (2004a) The systematics of freshwater crayfish of the genus Cherax Erichson (Decapoda: Parastacidae) in eastern Australia re-examined using nucleotide sequences from 12S rRna and 16S rRna genes. Invertebrate Systematics, 18, 215–225. https://doi.org/10.1071/IS03012
    Munasinghe, D.H.N., Burridge, C.P. & Austin, C.M. (2004b) Molecular phylogeny and zoogeography of the freshwater crayfish genus Cherax Erichson (Decapoda: Parastacidae) in Australia. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 81, 553–563. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8312.2003.00299.x
    Mussared, D. (1991) Yabby find proves an important discovery. Canberra Times, Monday 20 December, 5. Available from: http://nla.gov27.21.au/nla.news-article127255663 (accessed 19 August 2019)
    Mussared, D. (1997) Living on Floodplains. Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Research, Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Canberra, 136 pp.
    Nguyen, T.T.T. & Austin, C.M. (2005) Phylogeny of the Australian freshwater crayfish Cherax destructor-complex (Decapoda: Parastacidae) inferred from four mitochondrial gene regions. Invertebrate Systematics, 19, 209–216. https://doi.org/10.1071/IS04021
    Nguyen, T.T.T., Austin, C.M., Meewan, M., Schultz, M.B. & Jerry, D.R. (2004) Phylogeography of the freshwater crayfish Cherax destructor Clark (Parastacidae) in inland Australia: historical fragmentation and recent range expansion. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 83, 539–550. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8312.2004.00410.x
    Nguyen, T.T.T., Murphy, N.P. & Austin, C.M. (2002) Amplification of multiple copies of mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene fragments in the Australian freshwater crayfish, Cherax destructor Clark (Parastacidae: Decapoda). Animal Genetics, 33, 304–308. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2052.2002.00867.x
    O’Brien, A., Coughran, J. & McCormack, R. (2009) On the existence of Cherax rotundus in the Severn area, south-eastern Queensland. Queensland Naturalist, 47 (4–6), 41–52.
    Riek, E.F. (1951) The freshwater crayfish (family Parastacidae) of Queensland. With an appendix describing other Australian species. Records of the Australian Museum, 22 (4), 368–388. https://doi.org/10.3853/j.0067-1975.22.1951.615
    Schultz, M.B., Smith, S.A., Horwitz, P., Richardson, A.M.M., Crandall, K.A. & Austin, C.M. (2009) Evolution underground: a molecular phylogenetic investigation of Australian burrowing freshwater crayfish (Decapoda: Parastacidae) with particular focus on Engaeus Erichson. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 50, 580–598. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2008.11.025
    Short, J.W. (1991) Cherax nucifraga, a new species of freshwater crayfish (Crustacea: Decapoda: Parastacidae) from the Northern Territory, Australia. The Beagle, Records of the Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences, 8 (1), 115–120.
    Short, J.W. (1993) Cherax cartalacoolah, a new species of freshwater crayfish (Decapoda: Parastacidae) from northeast Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 33 (1), 55–59.
    Short, J.W. & Davie, P.J.F. (1993) Two new species of freshwater crayfish (Crustacea: Decapoda: Parastacidae) from northeastern Queensland rainforest. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 34 (1), 69–80.
    Sokol, A. (1986) Morphological variation in relation to the taxonomy of the destructor group of the genus Cherax (Decapoda: Parastacidae). PhD Thesis, Monash University, Clayton, 331 pp.
    Sokol, A. (1988) Morphological variation in relation to the taxonomy of the destructor group of the genus Cherax. Invertebrate Taxonomy, 2, 55–79. https://doi.org/10.1071/IT9880055
    Unmack, P.J., Young, M.J., Gruber, B., White, D., Kilian, A., Zhang, X. & Georges, A. (2019) Phylogeography and species delimitation of Cherax destructor (Decapoda: Parastacidae) using genome-wide SNPs. Marine and Freshwater Research, 70, 857–869. https://doi.org/10.1071/MF18347

How to Cite

McCORMACK, R. B. ., & RAADIK, T. A. . (2021). <em>Cherax</em> <em>latimanus</em> sp. nov., a new burrow-dwelling freshwater crayfish (Decapoda, Parastacidae) from the mid-Murray River catchment, Australia. Zootaxa, 5026(3), 344–374. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.5026.3.2