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Euastacus suttoni, commonly known as "New England crayfish" and "Sutton's crayfish", is a freshwater "spiny" crayfish species that belongs to the family Parastacidae. It's an Australian native species and is endemic to this region.... http://www.rymich.com/girraween/index.ph... At first I thought this specimen may have been the victim of predation, but further investigations now lead me to think this is a moulted shell, minus it's abdomen, of course. What I found is called the "cephalothorax" which is the head and carapace of the animal. I'm sure predation would have left the shell in much worse condition than this. Adult crayfish moult every one to two years, and it's thought that females moult before breeding. PS: An informative PDF - Freshwater Spiny Crayfish of North East NSW.... http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/...
A second species considered for this spotting was Cherax destructor, aka "common yabby", which has also been documented in this national park.... http://www.rymich.com/girraween/index.ph... Euastacus suttoni can usually be distinguished from a yabby (Cherax species) by their larger size and the presence of short robust spikes on their claws, carapace and abdomen. Yabbies have smooth shells. NB: The 2nd photo in this set clearly shows a rough, bumpy surface, particularly in the area behind the cephalic groove, a distinctive feature of the carapace.
Spotted on Dec 25, 2020
Submitted on Dec 27, 2020