Chile crayfish

Well you know this website has alot of contributors and fortunately it keeps on happening, this page is from the work of Erich Rudolph Latorre M.Sc from Osorno Chile, thanks also go to Chris in Germany for making the contact with Erich. We still need someone In Madagasa.

A short note on these crayfish.

Of the 14 genera of Parastacidae, two are found on the South American continent, Parastacus and Samastacus.The two genera both occur in Chile and one of the genera is found in southern Brazil. Plate tectonics is an interesting science and answers some of thequestions on crayfish distribution but not all, for example Africa has no native crayfish and New Zealand which I believed evolved from volcanic action have two species. It's a wierd wonderful world and one thing is not sure, there'll still be questions to be answered when I'm long gone.

Dave Downunder



This ground is the nicoleti habitat

Parastacus nicoleti

This is a very interesting crayfish, it is quite unique as it has male and female gonopores. It is a burrowing crayfish and lives it's entire life underground and they chambers and walkways, they are constructed at the level of underwater in swampy ground.

Adult specimen

At left in the picture, the female gonopores (upper left marked ) and the male gonopores ( bottom right marked ) are clearly visible. This does occur occasionally in other species.
This crayfish has a small home range and is only found in the latitude 39 - 41 deg, south, which is the area that Erich lives.
Samastacus spinifrons

This too is a burrowing species and there home range is much larger than nicoleti. They are found from 32 - 45plus deg, south on the western side of the Andes. The appendages (gonopores) of this species are chracteristic to other freshwater crayfish, unlike there hermaphrodite cousins. They are also found on the other side of the continent in southern Brazil.

Adult specimen

The photograph on the left was taken by Prof. Alexandre Oliveira de Almeida of Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Brasil. He took this photo in 1998, when he visited Rudolph.