Panulirus ornatus or painted crayfish and Panulirus longipes bispinosus or coral cray fish .

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Panulirus ornatus or painted crayfish and Panulirus longipes bispinosus or coral cray fish .

Post  liquidg on 1st March 2013, 6:20 am

Not reef safe

These are the two most commonly caught crayfish in Queensland waters.
Panulirus longipes bispinosus-coral cray fish that is closest to my foot and the Panulirus versicolor-painted crayfish.

The very common and semi endemic to south east Queensland is the painted cray!
It will hybridise with the green southern crayfish and these are only found on the gold coast when it happens, but due to rising ocean temps this hybrid is near gone.
All crays are illegal for hobbyists to collect for their aquariums at a suitable size due to a fisheries size associated with them.

Virtually all crustaceans shed shells this way.

This is a close up of the eye that has had its fresh eye pulled from with in the eyes outing coating as the cray does with all of its body mass, just leaving an empty shell that looks and is perfect in every way.

You can see some stuff growing on the shell, that is partly why the cray sheds a part from the only way it can increase in size.
The new cray exists by breaking the cartilages join between the tail and carapace and out it goes, if it works and if one half doesn’t get stuck and then its history.
They need the right foods or they will die in this process and I have seen this maybe ten times now from start to finish.
Each hair of thousands and eyes,legs,etc,etc are pulled from with in the old one or they are rolled up like an intestine especially if a limb was lost, this is by the cray producing a mucus between the old and new that holds with in it a signature chemical that accidentally lets predators know there is some tasty soft dinner at the end of that scent.
The female has a special chem for up to 24 hours leading up to a shed that tells the males that she is ready to be fertilised, but it has to be done once she has shed, before the shell hardens or its all over till the next shed.
Sometimes we find a lot of males near one newly shed female.
If you find a freshly shed cray look closely around as there will be their main predator a part from the ocy, a wobby will be close by.
There is no shell now so boil it and you eat the entire cray, no hard shell at all!

Juvenile painted crayfish still at its transparent stage.

Sub juvenile.


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