Digging down as water vanishes

DOWN UNDER: The common yabby likes to always be in water.
DOWN UNDER: The common yabby likes to always be in water.

In a roadside drain I have observed holes all year round. They vary from two to three inches, but some are larger. Would they be yabbie holes? I have never seen any sign of them, even if I go looking at night.

P.W., Mt Helen.

I have inspected these holes in the clay, and believe they are made by the common yabby. The 100 or so holes varied in diameter from 10mm to about 50mm, and most were vertical. Some extended more than 30cm deep, into water. Yabbies burrow down into damper ground when water dries, so they can always be in water.

They live there, burrowing further as dryness increases, feeding on rotting vegetation and other material. They probably come to the surface at night in wet weather. There can be several entrances to one underground cavern.

  • Questions and photos are welcome. Send to Roger Thomas at The Courier, PO Box 21, Ballarat, 3353, or email to rthomas@vic.australis.com.au