New species of crayfish described

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A stunning new species of crayfish has been described.

The crayfish concerned has been available in the aquatic trade in Europe, North America, and Asia (though not in the UK), for more than a decade, but its exact provenance was unknown.

Finally it was discovered living in a creek in West Papua, Indonesia. The new species has been named Cherax (Astaconephrops) pulcher sp. n. It differs from all other crayfish of this subgenus in the shape of its chelae, shape of body and also in its colour. The name is derived from the Latin "pulcher" meaning beautiful, alluding to the colourful appearance of the species.

It's not going to turn up in here, however. The Redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) is currently the only species that is allowed to be kept in aquaria (in England and Wales).

You can read more about the new species in the study published in ZooKeys.

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