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Cherax destructor (Cyan yabby).jpg
Cherax destructor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Family: Parastacidae
Genus: Cherax
Erichson, 1846
Type species
Astacus preissii
Erichson, 1846
Cherax distribution.svg

Cherax is the most widespread genus of fully aquatic crayfish in the Southern Hemisphere. Together with Euastacus, it is also the largest crayfish genus in the Southern Hemisphere. Its members may be found in lakes, rivers and streams across most of Australia and New Guinea.[1] In Australia the many species of Cherax are commonly known as yabbies. The most common and widely distributed species in Australia is the common yabby (Cherax destructor). It is generally found in lowland rivers and streams, lakes, swamps and impoundments at low to medium altitude, largely within the Murray-Darling Basin. Common yabbies are found in many ephemeral waterways, and can survive dry conditions for long periods of time (at least several years) by aestivating (lying dormant) in burrows sunk deep into muddy creek and swamp beds.


The genus contains 52 species:[2]