My, what long arms you have …

This species of estuarine shrimp, Macrobrachium novaehollandiae, was found by a friend in Fishery Creek, Ballina.

According to the IUCN Red List website, it occurs in the Cape Leveque and Fitzroy River basins (Western Australia), Buckingham River basin (Northern Territory) and from the Endeavour River basin (Queensland) through to the Sydney Coast-Georges River basin (New South Wales). It goes up rivers from the sea as far as the tidal influence reaches, and is abundant.

Macrobrachium novehollandiae; photo by John Hardwicke

Macrobrachium novehollandiae – the right claw is missing; photos by John Hardwicke

Macrobrachium novehollandiae_3

Macrobrachium novehollandiae_2Macrobrachium novehollandiae_4Macrobrachium novehollandiae_5The small shrimp are Palaemonetes atrinubes, also widespread and abundant in brackish water.

Palaemonetes atrinubes

Palaemonetes atrinubes

Thanks to Steven for finding the beasties and bringing them to my attention and to John for the photos .

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3 Responses to My, what long arms you have …

  1. janebeau says:

    Whatever are those arms for??

    • Joy Window says:

      My guess is that they use them to get into places that their bodies can’t fit, to catch food (they are apparently omnivorous, so eat plankton and small plants). Roots of mangroves and other trees are often at the estuary edges, so long ‘arms’ would be very useful way for reaching around them to scavenge.

  2. Kath says:

    Great photos. Thanks for sharing the information.

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