Land yabbies, engaeus


Croydon Burrowing Crayfish, Engaeus victoriensis

Classifying these crayfish is a job for an expert. Although I have taken care to get it right, I may be wrong. I have relied on location to help identify these crays and a friend at DNRE.. Unfortunately sometimes their homeranges cross so this doesn't help matters.

This specimen was found by
Steele Whyte, the fishing writer and NFA member.
Powelltown Burrowing Crayfish, Engaeus ssp.

These are very small and were found adjacent to Seven Acre Creek near Powelltown in Victoria. They have not been identified to date.

This is typical Engaeus habitat. There are many species but one thing they all have in common is that they rarely come to the surface, and live down around the water table. Some are found in cultivated areas( cleared areas really), such as pastures and park land. Others are found in forests like in the photo below. On the right is an example of their burrows. When the burrows flood they clear out the mud and build the well known characteristic chimneys. A word of warning, don't put your finger down these holes, I once had a trapdoor spider come out, it didn't bite me but I had to go change my pants.

Kalista Burrowing Crayfish, Engaeus.spp

No further information.
Lilly Pilly Crayfish, Engaeus australis

This cray was found at Black Gully Wilson's Promontory.

Thanks to Alan Henderson the live exhibits officer of the Melbourne Museum for providing me with this specimen. It has been formally identified by crustacea experts at the museum.

This cray is the same species as above. The photograph is the work of Alan Henderson,( puts me to shame). Alan stated that this particular cray was found at China's Creek, Wilson's Promontory. They are very simular except for colouration, notice the difference in colour on the claws.

Wilson's Promontory is a unique place. Several thousand years ago it was the connecting land bridge to Tasmania ( or so they say ), even today it is isolated to the Victorian mainland by a sand mass which to some animals such as freshwater crayfish is un-crossable.