Researchers have identified a new species of crayfish that displays incredible coloring. The Cherax pulcher (“pulcher” is Latin for “beautiful”) is a freshwater crayfish, and was found in waters around West Papua, Indonesia.
The crayfish was originally discovered more than a decade ago, spotted in a tourist’s photograph from New Guinea. Researchers spent the last 10 years searching creeks and rivers across Southeast Asia to find the animal. Earlier this year, they finally found the colorful crayfish in Indonesia’s Hoa Creek in West Papau.
Despite the beauty of the new species, they’re in danger. Crayfish are a culinary delicacy across Indonesia. They’re also being hunted rare fish collectors for the aquarium trade. Plus, the species is being negatively affected by pollution. So, sadly, while they were only just discovered, populations of Cherax pulcher crayfish are decreasing quickly and may not be around for much longer.