Temporal range: Albian–recent
The Parastacidae are the family of freshwater crayfish found in the Southern Hemisphere. The family is a classic Gondwana-distributed taxon, with extant members in South America, Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea, and extinct taxa also in Antarctica.
Australasia is particularly rich in crayfish. The small genus Paranephrops is endemic to New Zealand. Two genera, Astacopsis and Parastacoides are endemic to Tasmania, while a further two are found on either side of the Bass Strait – Geocharax and Engaeus. The greatest diversity, however, is found on the Australian mainland. Three genera are endemic and have restricted distributions (Engaewa, Gramastacus and Tenuibranchiurus), while two are more widespread and contain more than one hundred species between them: Euastacus, around the Australian coast from Melbourne to Brisbane, and Cherax across Australia and New Guinea.
The oldest specimens from the family Parastacidae are the Albian fossils of Palaeoechinastacus from Victoria, Australia. The only northern hemisphere representative is also a fossil, Aenigmastacus crandalli from Canada.
- T. H. Huxley (1879). The Crayfish: an Introduction to the Study of Zoology. London: C. Kegan Paul & Co.
- J. W. Fetzner, Jr (2005). "The crayfish and lobster taxonomy browser: a global taxonomic resource for freshwater crayfish and their closest relatives". Retrieved 27 March 2006.
- Christopher B. Boyko; Olga Ramilijaona Ravoahangimalala; Désiré Randriamasimanana; Tony Harilala Razafindrazaka (2005). "Astacoides hobbsi, a new crayfish (Crustacea: Decapoda: Parastacidae) from Madagascar" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1091: 41–51. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.1091.1.3.
- Anthony J. Martin; Thomas H. Rich; Gary C. B. Poore; Mark B. Schultz; Christopher M. Austin; Lesley Kool; Patricia Vickers-Rich (2008). "Fossil evidence in Australia for oldest known freshwater crayfish of Gondwana" (PDF). Gondwana Research. 14 (3): 287–296. doi:10.1016/j.gr.2008.01.002.
- Rodney A. Feldmann, Carrie E. Schweitzer & John Leahy (2011). "New Eocene crayfish from the McAbee Beds in British Columbia: First record of Parastacoidea in the Northern Hemisphere". Journal of Crustacean Biology. 31 (2): 320–331. doi:10.1651/10-3399.1.
- Media related to Parastacidae at Wikimedia Commons