Once again we were able to import zebra crayfish. These crayfish experienced some name changes due to the fact that the freshwater crayfishes of New Guinea were little known prior to their aquaristic discovery. The animal originally entered the trade as Cherax misolicus, but it was thought to be more likely C. papuanus. Its valid name is now Cherax peknyi Lukhaup & Herbert, 2008. Very similar is Cherax alyciae, which was thought to be a color variant (“Blue Kong”) of C. peknyi before its scientific description in 2018. However, coloration is highly variable in crayfishes, even within the same population, so it cannot be used well to distinguish species. The most reliable way to recognize C. alyciae is that the adult males develop a soft, bubble-like bulge in the anterior region on the outer claw finger, but the males of C. peknyi do not.
Currently we have received very colorful animals, some of which show fiery red claws with overall lighter and reddish coloration, while others tend more in the blue direction. Cherax peknyi originates from the Fly River drainage in Papua New Guinea. It reaches a maximum length of 10-12 cm.
The Cherax crayfishes from New Guinea are well keepable and breedable aquarium animals. You only have to be aware of the fact that they are very addicted to hiding and usually leave their hiding place only at night and for feeding. They feed on dead foliage as their main food, and can be fed literally almost anything that ornamental fish will accept as food.
For our customers: the animals have code 483024 on our stock list. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.
This crayfish was regarded as a particularly pretty variant of the zebra-lobster (Cherax peknyi) until recently and was called “Blue Kong” in the trade melodiously. Chris Lukhaup, Rury Eprilurahman and Thomas von Rintelen described it scientifically as Cherax alyciae in June 2018. We have just received these very attractive animals as wild catches from Indonesia.
Cherax alyciae is an almost ideal aquarium crayfish, as it is easy to keep and breed and, unlike many other crayfish, usually leaves the fish alone. However, it attacks aquatic plants and often digs them up during its expeditions through the aquarium. Therefore, only robust species are suitable here, ideally those that can be tied to stones and roots. The crayfish’s main food consists of dead leaves, of which there should always be enough in the aquarium.
For our customers. the animals have code 483028 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.
Finally we were able to import once more zebra lobsters. These crayfish had several changes in respect of the determination, because the freshwater crayfish from New Guinea were hardly know prior to their discovery as aquarium inhabitants. Initially they were imported under the name of C. misolicus, but it was guessed they might be closer to C. papuanus. They valid name s now Cherax peknyi Lukhaup & Herbert, 2008.
The colourful crayfish from New Guinea are easy to keep and breed in the aquarium, but one should be aware that they alwys try to hide and unsually leave their hiding places only by night and when they are fed. The basic food for all of them are dead leaves from trees, but they also accept literally all thinkable types of fish food accepted by ornamental fish.
For our customers: the animals have code 483024 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer