Freshwater and land crayfishes of the families Parastacidae and Austroastacidae are found throughout Australia and Tasmania. Eight genera, comprising thirty-two species, are now recorded, and there can be little doubt that many others will be found. Previous to this investigation the only systematic collecting was that of Messrs. S. W. Fulton, W. Kershaw and J. A. Kershaw, between 1870 and 1910. During the past two years collecting in Victoria and Tasmania has resulted in the discovery of seven new species.
With six exceptions, all the mainland species have been found in Victoria, the smallest of the States, where most attention has been paid to collecting, while only three species of one genus (Cherax
) are known from the vast territory of Western Australia, probably due to lack of field work. Even in the arid districts of Central Australia Parastacidae are abundant, if one may judge from the material collected by the late Sir Baldwin Spencer during his expeditions in those regions. Parastacidae are known to exist in the Kimberley district, Western Australia, but so far no specimens have been received for examination.