General Description

This species looks like a typical shrimp with five pairs of long, thin legs. Body transparent with some mottling. Dense tufts of setae ("hair") at the ends of the fingers. Length up to 4 cm, average mature specimens 3 cm.


Shrimp in the genus Paratya have a life cycle of about two years. Females brood their eggs on the underside of their tail during August and September. The young hatch from the eggs in late spring/summer and are free-swimming (planktonic). The drier summer months are usually those with the lowest water flows, thus the planktonic young avoid being washed out to sea. The majority of these shrimp live along the margin of the rivers, where flow is much reduced or negligible. These shrimp feed on algae and other small organic particles that they scrape off the substrate using the tufts of hair (setae) on their fingers. They can move quickly, often using a flick of the tail to escape from predators. Genetic work has shown that this genus probably includes a number of species, but so far only a single species is formally recognised. Morphological (shape) analysis has shown that the physical characteristics of this genus are very variable so it may never be easy to separate species on physical features alone.


South-eastern Australia from southern Queensland to eastern South Australia.


Usually only found in aquatic vegetation along the edge of water bodies including lakes, ponds, rivers and the upper least saline areas of estuaries.

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