Caridina thermophila, an Enigmatic and Endangered Freshwater Shrimp (Crustacea: Decapoda: Atyidae) in the Great Artesian Basin, Australia

Choy, S.C. (2020)


Only one species of freshwater shrimp, Caridina thermophila, has been recorded from the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) springs and associated wetlands in central Queensland. The species seems to be endemic to Queensland, has a restricted distribution and, whilst it is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, is not specifically protected under any Australian state or federal legislation. Although C. thermophila was first described from hot-water springs, it is now known to also inhabit much cooler waters, and hence its temperature tolerance range is quite broad. Apart from its general ecology and associated spring communities (many of which include rare and endangered endemic species), very little is known about the population dynamics and resilience of this species, particularly in relation to anthropogenic pressures and climate change. It is recommended that this species be specifically protected under national legislation, and a conservation plan be developed and implemented to ensure its long-term survival.