Five new species of shrimp in the genus Caridina have been discovered by a team of researchers who published their findings in ZooKeys. All species were discovered in Lake Poso, Indonesia’s third deepest lake located on the island of Sulawesi. With these five new species, the genus Caridina doubles in number.
Among the most interesting species discovered by the researchers is the Caridina mayamareenae, considered as the first case of a freshwater atheid shrimp morphologically adapted to live in empty snail shells.
Researchers have also calculated that Lake Poso is home to all 11 species of the genus Caridina, which makes this lake system one of the fundamental habitats of this genus also because many of the shrimp species that live there were discovered only in this lake and can therefore be considered as endemic.
This is a lake that is most likely over 1 million years old and was already considered a biodiversity hotspot. With a maximum depth of 450 meters, this lake of tectonic origin has an area of 323 square kilometers and seems to provide ideal conditions for the evolution of highly diverse groups of endemic species. And among these species are crustaceans, mollusks, and fish.
Samples analyzed to identify the five new species were caught with hand nets between 2003 and 2019 and preserved in ethanol for later analysis with various instruments including dissecting microscopes. Researchers also analyzed DNA and eventually came up with the discovery of five morphologically distinct species never previously identified.