Euastacus vesper, a new Euastacus for NSW

March 27, 2017RobertFeatured, News

 

Euastacus vesper, from the Cudgegong River

Euastacus vesper, from the Cudgegong River

The first specimens of this Euastacus species were collected in 2008 by researchers of the Australian Crayfish Project, then over the next 9 years with the assistance of the Australian Museum research group the project continued, finally culminating in the publication of this new species description.

The Cudgegong Giant Spiny Crayfish Euastacus vesper is described from the upper reaches of the Cudgegong River, east of Kandos NSW. The description was published in May 2017 in the international journal Zootaxa. Zootaxa is a peer-reviewed international journal for rapid publication of high quality papers on any aspect of systematic zoology.

Euastacus vesper Zootaxa pp556-567.2017_Page_01

Euastacus vesper Zootaxa pp556-567.2017_Page_01

 

 

 

Euastacus vesper sp. nov., a new giant spiny crayfish (Crustacea, Decapoda, Parastacidae) from the Great Dividing Range, New South Wales, Australia

ROBERT B. MCCORMACK & SHANE T. AHYONG

DOI: https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4244.4.6

 

 

 

 

Both Euastacus armatus and Euastacus vesper occur in the upper Cudgegong River and this has led to much confusion in the past. Additionally, E. vesper resembles Euastacus spinifer that occurs in the adjoining eastern drainage of the Hunter and Hawkesbury rivers. Whiterod et al 2016 completed a study on the Murray Crayfish Euastacus armatus. In that study they found that the E. armatus population in the upper Cudgegong River is more than likely a translocated population.

Euastacus vesper berried female - note the small size

Euastacus vesper berried female – note the small size

Preliminary surveying of the area indicate the distribution of the new species is restricted to a relatively small area. This area has been dramatically altered by a series of dams, rampant land clearing and rural development extracting water. Add a translocated giant spiny competitive species and heavy recreational fishing pressure all ads up to extreme danger to the long term survival of this unique species.

Euastacus vesper

Euastacus vesper

The next project for Shane and I will be to complete a full survey of the whole area to define the exact distribution of this new species. Once that’s completed we can complete an accurate conservation assessment. Initially, we would expect a listing of Critically Endangered would be appropriate for this new species

The Cudgegong Giant Spiny Crayfish Euastacus vesper

The Cudgegong Giant Spiny Crayfish Euastacus vesper

In this study, we formally describe the new Euastacus species, increasing the number of species of Euastacus to 53. A number of other new Euastacus are currently in preparation so this number will rise in the near future, stay tuned.

Cheers
Rob

REFERENCE
Nick S. Whiterod, Sylvia Zukowski, Martin Asmus, Dean Gilligan and Adam D. Miller. 2016.Genetic analyses reveal limited dispersal and recovery potential in the large freshwater crayfish Euastacus armatus from the southern Murray–Darling Basin. Marine and Freshwater Research. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF16006

 

 

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Tagged ,