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 is the largest and most widespread genus of fully and partially aquatic crayfish 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 47 species:[2]

  • Cherax albertisii
  • Cherax albidus
  • Cherax angustus
  • Cherax aruanus
  • Cherax barretti
  • Cherax bicarinatus
  • Cherax boesemani
  • Cherax boschmai
  • Cherax buitendijkae
  • Cherax cairnsensis
  • Cherax cartalacoolah
  • Cherax communis
  • Cherax crassimanus
  • Cherax cuspidatus
  • Cherax davisi
  • Cherax depressus
  • Cherax destructor
  • Cherax dispar
  • Cherax esculus
  • Cherax glaber
  • Cherax glabrimanus
  • Cherax gladstonensis
  • Cherax holthuisi
  • Cherax longipes
  • Cherax lorentzi
  • Cherax misolicus
  • Cherax murido
  • Cherax neocarinatus
  • Cherax neopunctatus
  • Cherax nucifraga
  • Cherax pallidus
  • Cherax paniaicus
  • Cherax papuanus
  • Cherax parvus
  • Cherax peknyi
  • Cherax plebejus
  • Cherax preissii
  • Cherax punctatus
  • Cherax quadricarinatus
  • Cherax quinquecarinatus
  • Cherax rhynchotus
  • Cherax robustus
  • Cherax rotundus
  • Cherax solus
  • Cherax tenuimanus
  • Cherax urospinosus
  • Cherax wasselli


  1. ^ D. H. N. Munasinghe, C. P. Burridge & C. M. Austin (2004). "The systematics of freshwater crayfish of the genus Cherax Erichson (Decapoda: Parastacidae) in eastern Australia re-examined using nucleotide sequences from 12S rRNA and 16S rRNA genes" (PDF). Invertebrate Systematics 18 (2): 215–225. doi:10.1071/IS03012. 
  2. ^ James W. Fetzner, Jr. (January 14, 2008). "Genus Cherax Erichson, 1846". Crayfish Taxon Browser. Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Retrieved August 12, 2010.