Common Yabby

Cherax destructor
Common Yabby - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Cherax destructor
Other names Yabby, Yabbie, Blue Yabby, Cyan Yabby, Common Yabbie
Size Up to 30 cm (12 in)
Weight Up to .35 kg (.77 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Inhabits freshwater ponds, dams, lakes, rivers, streams & creeks
Depth Range 0 - 5 m (16 ft)
Common Yabby Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The common yabby is found in various parts of Australia, including New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia.
  • These crustaceans have a distinctive, reddish-brown coloration, with a hard, spiny exoskeleton that protects their soft internal organs. Some individuals may have blue colorations, however, the blue colours are not as common.
  • They are omnivores and feed on a variety of things, including algae, plants, insects, and other small aquatic creatures.
  • Yabbies are nocturnal animals and are most active at night when they come out of their burrows to forage for food.
  • They are popular with anglers and are used as bait to catch fish such as Murray cod and golden perch.
  • In the wild, yabbies can be found in large numbers and play an important role in the ecosystem by controlling algae growth and providing food for other animals.
  • The yabby is also known for its ability to survive in harsh conditions, including droughts and floods. They are able to aestivate, which is a type of hibernation that allows them to survive during periods of drought by burrowing into the mud and reducing their metabolic rate.
  • Yabbies have a few natural predators in the wild, including larger fish, freshwater turtles, some water birds, and introduced predators such as foxes, but they have evolved various defence mechanisms to protect themselves from these predators.
  • They have an estimated lifespan of up to 5 years in the wild.
Species Interaction

Aquarium, Recreational & Commercial Fishing

Yabbies can make interesting and entertaining additions to aquariums, but they require specific conditions to thrive. They are recreationally and commercially fished in Australia. Catching yabbies is a popular pastime in many parts of Australia, particularly during the summer months when yabbies are more active. They are also commercially fished in some parts of Australia, particularly in Victoria and South Australia. They are primarily harvested for their meat, which is considered a delicacy in some parts of Australia.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Malacostraca

Order: Decapoda

Family: Parastacidae

Genus: Cherax

Species: Cherax destructor

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the common yabby in Australia is currently listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

While the species is not considered to be at high risk of extinction at present, there are some concerns about the potential impact of habitat loss, pollution, and overfishing on yabby populations in some areas.

Fish Taste Quality

Common yabby are considered a delicacy in some parts of Australia and are enjoyed for their sweet, tender meat. The meat is often compared to that of a lobster or crayfish.

Taste Rating: 4/5

How to catch
Common Yabby

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Baited Trap

Bait: Fresh cut flesh baits

Technique: Keep bait on the bottom

Popularity: Highly Targeted

Common Yabby
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate

Temperament: Semi-Aggressive

Diet: Omnivore

Reef Compatible: No

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons