PORT PHILLIP BAY


Bass Yabby 

Trypaea australiensis Dana, 1852

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Antennule peduncle much heavier and longer than antenna peduncle, article 3 about twice as long as article 2. Maxilliped 3 ischium-merus operculiform, merus projecting beyond articulation with carpus; propodus and dactylus digitiform. Male pleopod 2 absent.

Source: Poore, G.C.B. (2004) Marine decapod Crustacea of southern Australia. A guide to identification (with chapter on Stomatopoda by Shane Ahyong). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 574 pp.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Eucarida
Order:
Decapoda
Suborder:
Pleocyemata
Infraorder:
Thalassinidea
Family:
Callianassidae
Genus:
Trypaea
Species:
australiensis

Other Names

  • Australian Ghost Shrimp
  • Ghost Nipper
  • Marine Yabby

General Description

The large flattened claw of the male is almost as long as the animal itself and with a deep notch into the palm between the two fingers; the larger claw in females is simpler. Antennule peduncle much heavier and longer than antenna peduncle, article 3 about twice as long as article 2. Maxilliped 3 ischium-merus operculiform, merus projecting beyond articulation with carpus; propodus and dactylus digitiform. Male pleopod 2 absent. Body up to 6.5 cm long.

Biology

Ghost shrimps are used as bait by fisherman. A specially designed hand-held "yabby pump" is placed over the burrows in intertidal sandy mud and the inhabitants sucked out. Fishermen call these ghost shrimps Bass yabbies (after Bass Strait) or one-armed bandits (because of their one long cheliped). Recent studies on their behaviour show how useful these burrowing crustaceans are in keeping the sediment healthy and fisherman would be wise to select alternative bait and allow the ghost shrimps to continue their important work.

Habitat

Intertidal sand and mudflats, often estuarine.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern temperate oceans, including south-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Prawns, shrimps, lobsters Ghost and mud shrimps

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

6.5 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from large claws could be painful

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 1008

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Taylor, J.

Dr. Jo Taylor is the Sciences Collections Online Coordinator at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Poore, G.C.B.

Dr. Gary Poore is Principal Curator Emeritus at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Taylor, J. & Poore, G.C.B., 2011, Bass Yabby, Trypaea australiensis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/4213

Text: creative commons cc by licence