Engaeus mairener

March 20, 2015RobertFeatured, News
Engaeus mairener

Engaeus mairener

I’m not familiar with the Tasmanian Engaeus but as per my Australian Engaeus bible (Horwitz, 1990) this species keys out as Engaeus mairener – if anyone has any other thoughts, please let me know as this is one of my first tastes of Tassie Engaeus.

The area (Tributary Little Pipers River, crossing Bridport Rd) was riddled with burrows

The area (Tributary Little Pipers River, crossing Bridport Rd) was riddled with burrows

Engaeus mairener Burrows

Engaeus mairener Burrows

This species is endemic to north-eastern Tasmania, and seemingly abundant. Burrows were close to each other (2-3/m2) with the areas where they occurred being riddled with burrows.

Dig the above burrow 600 mm and find this Engaeus mairener at the base

Dig the above burrow 600 mm and find this Engaeus mairener (18.75 mm OCL) in a small chamber at the base

Burrows tops were not the high chimney type but just a small mound of excavated material, we generally only excavated newly constructed burrows with fresh material at the burrow mouth (good chance of getting a crayfish). Most burrows had 2 surface entrances leading to a deep burrow that lead to either a small water filled chamber or just a water filled burrow with the crayfish crammed into the base.

Engaeus mairener burrows on the side of dry creek be

Engaeus mairener burrows on the side of dry creek bed

The burrow top

The burrow top

Take the top of the burrow off

Take the top of the burrow off

Dig 700 mm deep and find this Engaeus mairener crammed in the bottom

Dig 700 mm deep and find this Engaeus mairener crammed in the bottom

Most of the burrows I dug were in or along the sides creek beds, all were currently dry on the surface but there was water in all the burrow base excavated. Both clay and soil seemed to be suitable for the species and tea trees were typical in the burrow areas we collected crayfish from.

Reference

Horwitz, P. (1990). A taxonomic revision of species in the freshwater crayfish genus Engaeus Erichson (Decapoda: Parastacidae). Invertebrate Taxonomy 4 (3): 427–614. doi:10.1071/IT9900427

If you enjoyed this post then please make a contribution, please note that no one paid us to write this article, no one paid us to travel to Tassie, no one paid us to catch these critters, it’s all done at our own personal expense as a volunteer on the ACP. A contribution from you could pay for fuel in the car and allow us to do more towards increasing the knowledge base on our endemic crayfish species and assist in their, and their fragile habitat conservation. Please contribute – just a few dollars makes a significant contribution!

 

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

Tagged ,