Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish Facts
- The name itself gives the most noteworthy fact about the Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish. They remain the largest known existing freshwater invertebrates in the world.
- In addition to their sheer size, this massive invertebrate also has an extremely long lifespan among its kind. Because of this, exceptional individual specimens have been known to live for as much as 60 years.
- Sadly, they also have an extremely limited habitat range, and their numbers appear to be dwindling. The IUCN has listed this species as an Endangered Species and may change that to Critically Endangered soon.
- Overfishing and habitat loss appear to be the primary threats to their existence. While they now hold a protected status under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, their numbers continue to dwindle.
Other Fascinating Invertebrates
Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish Description
Since the Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish grows so large, no other freshwater invertebrate even comes close to matching it.
That holds true because mature adults can reach a length of as much as 31 in (80 cm). Individuals can also weigh up to 13.2 lb (6 kg). Yet an average weight remains approximately 6.6 lb (3 kg) for most individuals.
Their coloring varies significantly between individuals but includes dark brownish-green, black, and blue.
Species: A. gouldi
Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish Ecology
The Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish claims an extremely limited range and specific habitat type.
Their endemic range consists solely of the island of Tasmania. The species also only lives in streams and small rivers at an elevation of no more than 1,300 ft (400 m) above sea level. They also prefer to make their homes in rivulets and headwaters.
This crustacean has an omnivorous diet, and primarily consumes leaves and decaying wood. However, they will also consume insects, small fish, and detritus when available.
Though adults have no natural predators, the young remain vulnerable to predation by the platypus.
In addition, when young, this species will molt several times per year.