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Invasive Species: Yabby


(Cherax destructor)
*Not detected in Michigan*


Report this species:

Use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool -

- Or - download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone -



  • Smooth carapace.
  • Colors vary from olive-green to brown, but are sometimes red, yellow, or black.
  • Crayfish have two enlarged front claws, four pairs of walking legs, followed by four pairs of swimmerets (small swimming legs).

yabby crayfish
Photo courtesy of Chameleon.

Photo courtesy of

Habitat: Appear to prefer muddy or silted substrates in water with moderate levels of turbidity. Like other crayfish species, yabby dig burrows. Some burrows can reach depths of up to two meters. This can compromise the integrity of dam walls, causing problems for farmers.

Diet: These somewhat opportunistic omnivores feed primarily on rotting vegetation, but will settle for almost anything it comes across, including other yabby crayfish on occasion.

Native Range: Australia.

Local Concern: Life history traits such as rapid growth rate, high spawning frequency, extended breeding period with multiple spawning events, and attainment of maturity at age one help facilitate establishment and proliferation in a new habitat.

Potential Means of Introduction: Aquaculture and aquarium trade.


Yabby Invasive Species Alert (printable PDF)

Crayfish of Michigan poster

Michigan Crayfish ID Guide