Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A new crayfish: Cherax snowden

Cherax is the most widespread and largest genus of fully aquatic crayfish in the Southern Hemisphere. Species may be found in lakes, rivers and streams across most of Australia, New Guinea, and South East Asia.  

In Australia these crayfish are commonly known as yabbies. These species  can survive dry conditions for long periods of time (at least several years) by lying dormant in burrows sunk deep into muddy creek and swamp beds.

This new species (Cherax snowden) was found on the Kepala Burung (Vogelkop) Peninsula and named after  Edward Joseph Snowden to honour his extraordinary achievements in defense of justice, and freedom.

For the experts: A new species, Cherax snowden sp. n., from the Oinsok River Drainage, Sawiat District in the central part of the Kepala Burung (Vogelkop) Peninsula, West Papua, Indonesia, is described, figured and compared with the closest related species, Cherax holthuisi Lukhaup & Pekny, 2006. This species is collected and exported for ornamental purposes and its commercial name in the pet trade is “orange tip” or “green orange tip”. Both species may be easily distinguished morphologically or by using sequence divergence, which is substantial, for considering C. snowden sp. n. to be a new species.

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