Euastacus monteithorum is known only from Kroombit Creek, Kroombit Tops State Forest, south-west of Gladstone, Queensland. (QLD)
Euastacus monteithorum is similar to E. setosus in having many short setae on the body giving it a 'fuzzy' appearance, in having three or four spines on the inner margin of the wrist of the large claws, and in lacking large spines on the abdomen. Euastacus monteithorum is easily distinguished from E. setosus by having only a pair of small low ridges behind the eyes instead of a pair of spines. The body reaches a length of about 10 cm and is a dark green-brown above and paler below.
Ecology/Way of Life:
Euastacus monteithorum live in cool, well-oxygenated streams and creeks bordered by subtropical rainforest at an altitude of 860 m above sea level. Little is known about the biology of E. monteithorum, but it most likely lives under rocks or in burrows in the stream bank like other spiny crayfish. Euastacus monteithorum is probably a scavenger, feeding mostly on decaying plant matter.
Interaction with Humans/Threats:
The species is not presently threatened because it occurs within the relatively stable confines of the Kroombit Tops State Forest. The major threats to the species would derive from habitat destruction, such as rainforest clearance in the headwaters and surrounds of the creeks and streams in which the crayfish live.
Euastacus monteithorum was named by Morgan in 1989 after G. & S. Monteith who collected the original specimens.
Morgan, G. (1989). Two new species of the freshwater crayfish Euastacus Clark (Decapoda: Parastacidae) from isolated high country of Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 27(2): 555–562.
Morgan, G. (1991). The spiny crayfish of Queensland. The Queensland Naturalist 31: 29–36.
Text and map by Shane Ahyong. Photograph by J. W. Short
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