New shrimp in Port Phillip Bay

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
8 April 2011
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MV marine biologist Dr Jo Taylor has reported a tropical stowaway in the warm waters around the Newport Power Station - the Sand Shrimp, Crangon uritai.

Sand Shrimp Sand Shrimp Crangon uritai blends in perfectly with the sandy habitats in which it lives.
Image: John Eichler
Source: Museum Victoria
 

This little crustacean with its cunning camouflage is common in East Asian coastal regions and is not native to Australia. Although other species belonging to the same family (Crangonidae) are common in Australian waters, including Port Phillip Bay, this is the first occurrence of this species anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere.

Reported this week in the online scientific journal, Marine Biodiversity Records, Jo and her co-author Dr Tomoyuki Komai suspect the shrimp was accidentally introduced to Port Phillip Bay. This new sand shrimp probably hitch-hiked in ship ballast while in its tiny larval form. It's only the second confirmed introduction of a shrimp to Australia.

Dorsal and lateral view of the Sand Shrimp. Dorsal and lateral view of the Sand Shrimp.
Image: David Staples
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Three specimens were found in 2008 by members of the Marine Research Group and were identified after comparisons with specimens at the Natural History Museum and Institute in Chiba, Japan. Jo has alerted local biologists and ecologists to keep an eye out for the newcomer so we can track its movement, if any, in local waters.

Links:

Article in Marine Biodiversity Records (abstract only)

Infosheet: Introduced marine organisms in Port Phillip Bay

Sand Shrimp on PaDIL

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Pat B 29 April, 2011 11:17
Yeh cool just saw this. Sounds like an underwater tropical oasis of sorts down there at the warmies. Wonder what other little beasties are hiding out there that we don't know about.
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