Kōura Freshwater Crayfish

Great Barrier Island

  • koura

Ecology Category: Fauna and Invertebrates

  • The kōura, or freshwater crayfish, is dark green and mottled like the stones it lives amongst on stream bottoms.

    Image courtesy of Windy Hill Sanctuary

    • Crayfish/kōura are hard to see as they are so well camouflaged.
    • Often their waving feelers and black beady eyes are all that can be seen.
    • They stay hidden during the day, moving around mostly at night.
    • They live in fresh water such as streams, lakes and ponds, and even in swamps.

    Kōura has a hard shell-like skin so it is a crustacean, one of the large group of animals, the arthropods, so-called because their legs and bodies are protected by a jointed hard but flexible body covering.

    This covering eventually gets too small for the growing animal. It then splits and is left behind, while the new skin underneath hardens. This is called moulting.

    Read More at the Department of Conservation

    Source: Department of Conservation and licensed by greatbarrierisland.nz for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/