Some crayfish are just cray. And then there's this one, which is the whole box of crayons.
Christian Lukhaup, a German scientist, has officially identified this stunning crustacean in a ZooKeys article. He told The Washington Post that he first spotted the crayfish in a photograph, and had noticed it turning up in pet shops, too.
New Scientist reports that the newly identified species Cherax (Astaconephrops) pulcher has been available for purchase since the 2000s, but nobody knew exactly where it came from, and traders kept quiet about their sources.
Eventually, Lukhaup tracked the creature to the Hoa Creek on the island of New Guinea, Indonesia.
"I think it's one of the most beautiful crayfish," Lukhaup told The Washington Post. "It's very striking."
Unfortunately, as Lukhaup explains in his study, the crayfish is threatened by hungry locals and unscrupulous aquarium suppliers.
"Clearly, the continued collection of these crayfish for the trade is not a sustainable practice, and if the popularity of the species continues, a conservation management plan will have to be developed, including a captive breeding program," he wrote.
Guys, this crayfish is brand new. If you need crustaceans for pets, stick to sea monkeys.
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