Yabby

Cherax destructor

Common name:

Yabby

Scientific name:

Cherax destructor

Alternative common names:

Common yabby.

This crayfish can grow 10-20cm but some individuals attain a length of 30cm. Colour is variable and depends on water quality, but most take on a greyish-blue to vivid metallic blue colour. This is not an indigenous species and may have negative impacts on our wetland systems by competing against indigenous species. The burrowing activity may cause damage to dams and riverbanks.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Australia.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA Category 1a.

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Not yet known to be invasive, but these crayfish are kept in aquaculture facilities, but closely related species have escaped and are proving invasive in some river systems.

    How does it spread?

    Dispersal through aquatic systems.

    Why is it a problem?

    This is not an indigenous species and may have negative impacts on our wetland systems by competing against indigenous species. The burrowing activity may cause damage to dams and riverbanks.

    What does it look like?

    Description: This crayfish can grow 10-20cm but some individuals attain a length of 30cm. Colour is variable and depends on water quality, but most take on a greyish-blue to vivid metallic blue colour. Habitat: A freshwater species colonising rivers, reservoirs, dams and lakes. During drought conditions, they can survive by aestivating down burrows in the mud. Breeding: Eggs are attached to abdominal appendages called pleopods and undergo preliminary development before they swim away as free-swimming juveniles.