Sand Yabby

Cherax robustus

Identification

Sand Yabby, Cherax robustus

Length to 90 mm. Deep blue to almost black; underside of claws vivid purple. Claws short and robust with a characteristic patch of long hairs on undersides of fixed fingers continuing slightly onto palms.

Habitat & range

Semi-aquatic; burrows around perimeter of sand lakes or along small creeks. Found only in wallum heathlands; adapted to living in soft acidic waters in peaty sand areas. Restricted to coastal Southeastern Queensland as far north as Fraser Island.

Potential threats

Queensland Museum records show that it previously lived at a number of mainland localities in the northern Brisbane area, but in recent years it has not been seen south of the Sunshine Coast (though it is still present on Bribie and Stradbroke Islands). Hopefully national parks on Bribie, Stradbroke and Fraser Islands, and at Cooloola, will help protect it, but water table lowering following long periods of drought, and groundwater mining for drinking supplies, could still be a major threat.

Underside of Sand Yabby, Cherax robustus

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