What’s the fuzz on my yabby? Can you eat yabbies that have white fluffy growths?

I purchased some live yabbies from a local fish shop recently to stock my backyard aquaponics. This individual was weak and had some white fuzz on its shell.

What causes white fluffy growths on yabbies? Is it safe to eat it?

With my trusty microscope and handy iPhone, I managed to take a happy snap of a bunch of stalked peritrichous protozoa. These are Epistylis organisms. These parasites are secondary pathogens and it’s more an indication of poor water or environment quality where the yabby was raised. It reflects waters with high organic matter and possibly low dissolved oxygen. In low amounts it’s not an issue, but high loads can be a health concern for the crustacean.

Management will incorporate improving their tank or dam conditions before it’s too late.

It’s not an issue for human health safety, the yabby and its mate went into the pot (but not before I took more samples for further testing!)!


And how about the story of his mate?

To be continued…


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