New Tiny Crayfish Species Discovered in Swamps of Coastal Eastern Australia

Posted on April 8, 2014

Gramastacus lacus

A tiny new crayfish species was discovered in the swamps of coastal eastern Australia. The new species belongs to the genus Gramastacus. Robert B McCormack, Team Leader for the Australian Crayfish Project, describes the new species in the journal ZooKeys. An image of the new species, Gramastacus lacus, is pictured above. Another photo of the crayfish grazing on a fallen fern frond is pictured below.

Gramastacus lacus grazing on a fern frond

The crayfish is found in lowland ephemeral habitats surrounding coastal lakes and lagoons from Wamberal Lagoon, north along the coastal strip to Wallis Lake. The crayfish dig rounded burrows up to one meter deep into the water table to survive the drying cycle.

Only one other species of Gramastacus crayfish is known in the world and it lives about 900 kilometers away in the Grampians region of Victoria. A full of list of all freshwater crayfish can be found here.

Photos: Rob McCormack

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