The yabby (Cheerax destructor) is a freshwater crayfish that is native to
south eastern Australia, as far inland as the border of South Australia. Some of
them can grow really big, up to 20 cm long. They are common in dams and streams.
live under rocks or leaf litter in streams, and in dams and lakes they dig
burrows in the mud. In periods of drought, they dig burrows deep underground (up
to 2 metres) and live there until it rains.
Yabbies mainly eat leaf litter and other vegetable matter, but if a piece of
meat is dropped in the water, they will eat it to keep the water clean. They
have very strong claws with serrated edges, which they will use to pick up food
and also to defend themselves. A peculiarity is that if they lose a leg or claw,
they can grow it back.
After yabbies spawn, the female carries her eggs under her tail for about 3
weeks, until they hatch. Young yabbies are about 0.02 grams when they hatch, and
are fully grown after about 2 to 3 years.
Author: Katrina Leel