How to Care for Your New Yabbie

   Aqualand info about Cherax species

 
 

Yabbie Factoids

Origin

Ausralia

Maximum Size

Four or five inches plus claws -- really long claws

Longevity

Five years

Housing

Likes space but will hide under a log

Security

Hides during day. More active at night.

Temperature

Room temp fine.  Breeds faster when warmer.

Sexual Maturity Females mature sexually their first year.
Breeding Yabbies breed September thru May (14 hours of daylight)

Attitude

Argumentative but shy burrower

Foods

Devours plants, flakes, and pelleted foods

Water

Prefers clean, hard water

Tough Tolerates dry periods and salt in the water
US Threats Herons, bullfrogs, turtles, big fish, Cajuns, each other
OZ Threats Cormorants, herons, kookaburras, ibises

BB

Ben Bowden Australia, 2007
Hi Larry, I think it's a great idea to include some Australian Slang.A dam is a pond, but it also a man made one, most dams are holes dug into clay soil a paddock. A natural wetland that you would also call a pond is called a Billabong.
I have taken some pics of a creek near my house and will attach them, but unfortunately this creek is full of Gambusia which caused the extinction of the Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon (Goby).  Yabbies will eat anything. In Australia they are commonly fed all manner of things, but frozen peas bring out the blue in them, in the wild they eat mainly plants and algae and any carrion.  We have three types of Yabbie available to keep in Australia: Cherax destructor, the Common one, Red Claws, which are native to Queensland (Zebra Yabbie) and the Marron, a particularly delicious Yabbie. It is deep maroon in the wild, but is also available in blue; this colour is uniform over the whole body.
Yabbies fed on low quality food, (flakes) will stay small, something just under an inch, they live but don't thrive, but can breed if they are old enough, usually only 1 or two babies, this ability has helped them colonise any low food/water quality areas, including fresh water rock pools, about a foot square.
Yabbies are best kept in tannin stained water, and prefer the water to be slightly acidic, like most Australian water. The Marron likes it at 6.0 pH, when kept in tannin stained water they go a beautiful dark brown with blue highlight. I use mallee root to stain my water, but you could use any of the Malaysian driftwoods to the same effect. 
Well I don't know if you have tried but you could keep them outside over there, my pond gets down to minus 3 (Celsius) in winter and they do fine.  Anything else you a little unclear on?
I will get you some dam pics soon, have been a little short on time, haven't had time to go out of the city.  Cheers,

Present Day.  I lost contact with Ben but have accumulated beau coup pics of various Australian yabbies.  I've seen lists containing 47 different Charax species.  I'd be hard pressed to ID them by species, but common names work well also.

LA
6-inch
Cherax Peknyi, sold as Aussie zebra lobster.

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Eating a goldfish.

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During moulting process.

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Great "six pack."

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This only works with in the soft-shell stste.

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Newly shed yabbie with discarded exoskeleton.

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Very recent shed.

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Good walls make good neighbors.

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Apricot yabbie -- very pretty.

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Apricot yabbie kept under bright lights that grew algae under his exoskeleton.

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After his molt.

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His former "skin."

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Not so hard to handle at this soft-shell stage.

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Next day hardening but still not pinching.

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We returned him to his home.

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Prettier and larger than before his shed.

The sex of yabbies can be determined externally by the position of the reproductive or genital openings. The male gonopores, or sexual organs, are located at the base of the fifth pair, or rearmost pair, of walking legs (pereiopods) while the female gonopores are found at the base of the
third, or middle, pair of legs (see Figure 3). Breeding maturity is reached when the yabby is approximately 6-10 cm in length.

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Orange yabbie.

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Not much of a struggler.

LA

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