Threatened Burrowing Crayfish of

West Gippsland

Ferny Streamside Habitat
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Narracan Burrowing Crayfish

The Narracan Burrowing Crayfish is found over an area of approximately 30 x 20 km to the north and west of the Eastern Strzelecki Ranges.  The range includes as far west as Strzelecki-Ferndale to the Little Morwell River at Darlimurla in the south east. It is also found in Sunny Creek catchments just south of Traralgon. Their habitat (click here for map of range) usually occurs in altitudes over 120 m.

What do Narracan Burrowing Crayfish Look Like?

Size: Adults have a carapace (back shield) length of around 20-26 mm with a total length of up to 90 mm. Colour: Range in colour from dark purple hues through to bright orange and red, generally with bright orange or red legs. Claws may be same size (isomorphic) or different size and shape (dimorphic) and often with bright orange tips. Distinguishing Features: This species can be distinguished by the shape of its tail known as uropods. The uropods are leaf-shaped in appearance. Habitat: Narracan Burrowing Crayfish are found in flood-beds and stream bars, creek banks and seepages with varying degrees of vegetation cover. They are most often found in ferny gullies in wet sclerophyll forest. Burrows & Chimneys: Burrows can be quite variable in size, extent and depth, and may vary depending on where they are positioned. For example, burrows located in the flood-bed are often quite shallow with an extensive horizontal burrowing system. Other burrows are more vertical with lateral ramifications, often further descending into a water-filled or muddy chamber (down to 60 cm). The crayfish often reside in these chambers. Burrows may consist of two or more (up to 12 have been recorded) entrances (>2.5 cm) surrounded by tall, pelleted chimneys up to 10 cm in height. Chimneys may also be indistinct, rim or fan shaped and only 1-2 cm high.
Narracan Burrowing Crayfish size
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Narracan Burrowing Crayfish size

Leaf-like tail
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Leaf-like tail

Female cray carrying eggs under her tail (Berried female)
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Female  cray carrying eggs under her tail

(Berried female)

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Narracan Burrowing Crayfish

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Ferny Streamside Habitat

Seepage Habitat
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Seepage Habitat

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Narracan Burrowing Crayfish Chimney

Narracan Burrowing Crayfish Chimney
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Narracan Burrowing Crayfish Chimney

Further information:

West Gippsland Burrowing Crayfish
Narracan Burrowing Crayfish Narracan Burrowing Crayfish Chimney Ferny Habitat
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Ferny Habitat