Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Redescription of the freshwater shrimp Macrobrachium jelskii (Miers, 1877) (Caridea, Palaemonidae)



Macrobrachium jelskii is a freshwater shrimp endemic to South America, occurring in all major Brazilian basins. It is used in various activities, such as fishing, fishkeeping and even as food for humans and animals, and therefore its distribution is affected by anthropic influence. Misidentification of M. jelskii is recurrent because of its morphological similarity to some sympatric species such as M. amazonicum and M. acanthurus. Thus, the aim of this study is to redescribe M. jelskii, proposing some characteristics that allow for a clearer differentiation of this species when compared to other similar congeneric species that occur in South America. The informative characters were the size and the shape of the rostrum, the ratio of the carpus and chela, the ratio of the chela and carapace length and the shape of the carpus of the second pereiopod, as well as the ratio between the length of the internal pair of posterior spine of telson and median apex of the posterior margin of telson. Although the intraspecific variability is high, the combination of the characters mentioned herein, including a morphological key, is very useful and makes it easier to differentiate between these three species.


Crustacea, Decapoda, identification key, Macrobrachium amazonicum, Macrobrachium acanthurus, South America

Full Text:



Almeida, A.O., Coelho, P.A., Luz, J.R., Santos, J.T.A. & Ferraz, N.R. (2008) Decapod crustaceans in fresh waters of southeastern Bahia, Brazil. Revista de Biología Tropical, 56 (3), 1225–1254.

Barros-Alves, S.P., Almeida, A.C., Fransozo, V., Alves, D.F.R., Silva, J.C. & Cobo, V.J. (2012) Population biology of the shrimp Macrobrachium jelskii (Miers, 1778) (Decapoda, Palaemonoidea) at the Grande River at northwest of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia, 24, 266–275.

Barros, M.P. & Braun, A.S. (1997) Contribuição ao estudo dos Atyidae e Palaemonidae (Crustacea, Decapoda) do leste brasileiro 14º21’ e 20°55’ de latitude sul. Biotemas, 10, 7–26.

Boos, H., Buckup, G.B., Buckup, L., Araujo, P.B., Magalhães, C., Almerão, M.P., Santos, R.A. & Mantelatto, F.L. (2012) Checklist of the Crustacea from the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Check List, 8 (6), 1020–1046.

Carvalho, F.L., Magalhães, C. & Mantelatto, F.L. (2014) Molecular and morphological differentiation between two Miocene-divergent lineages of Amazonian shrimps, with the description of a new species (Decapoda, Palaemonidae, Palaemon). Zookeys, 457, 79–108.

Chace, F.A. & Holthuis, L.B. (1948) Land and fresh water Decapod Crustacea from the Leeward group and northern South America. Studies on the fauna of Curaçao, Aruba, Bonnaire and the Venezuelan Islands, 3, 21–28.

Chace Jr., F.A. & Hobbs Jr., H.H. (1969) Bredin-Archbold-Smithsonian Biological Survey of Dominica: The freshwater and the terrestrial decapod crustaceans of the West Indies with special reference to Dominica. Bulletin of the United States National Museum, 292, 1–258.

Collins, P.A. (2000) A new distribution record for Macrobrachium jelskii (Miers, 1877) in Argentina (Decapoda, Palaemonidae). Crustaceana, 73 (9), 1167–1169.

Gamba, A.L. (1984) Different egg–associated and larval development characteristics of Macrobrachium jelskii and M. amazonicum in a Venezuelan continental lagoon. International Journal of Invertebrate Reproduction and Development, 7, 135–142.

Gamba, A.L. (1997) Biologia reproductiva de Macrobrachium jelskii (Miers, 1877) y Macrobrachium amazonicum (Heller, 1862) en Venezuela (Crustacea, Decapoda, Palaemonidae). Acta Cientifica Venezolana, 48 (1), 19–26.

García-Dávila, C.R. & Magalhães, C. (2003) Revisão Taxonômica dos Camarões de Água Doce (Crustacea: Decapoda: Palaemonidae, Sergestidae) da Amazônia Peruana. Acta Amazonica, 33 (4), 663–686.

Guerra, A.L., Lima, A.V.B., Lucato-Júnior, R.V., Chiachio, M.C., Taddei, F.G. & Castiglioni, L. (2014) Genetic variability and phylogenetic aspects in species of the genus Macrobrachium. Genetics and Molecular Research, 13 (2), 3646–3655.

Hammer, Ø. (2016) PAleontological STatistics: Reference manual, Version 3.14, 252p. Available from (accessed 8 February 2017)

Hammer, Ø., Harper, D.A.T. & Ryan, P.D. (2001) PAST: Paleontological Statistics Software Package for education and data analysis. Palaeontologia Electronica, 4 (1), 1–9.

Heller, C. (1862) Beiträge zur näheren Kentniss der Macrouren. Sitzungsberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, 45, 389–425.

Holthuis, L.B. (1950) Crustacea Decapoda Macrura. Scientific Results of the Surinam Expedition 1948–1949. Part II. Zoologische Mededelingen, 31, 25–37.

Holthuis, L.B. (1952) A General Revision of the Palaemonidae (Crustacea Decapoda Natantia) of the Americas: II. The Subfamily Palaemoninae. AlIan Hancock Foundation Publication Occasional Paper, 12, 1–396.

Jalihal, D.R., Sankolli, K.N. & Shenoy, S. (1993) Evolution of the larval development patterns and the process of freshwaterization in the prawn genus Macrobrachium Bate, 1868 (Decapoda, Palaemonidae). Crustaceana, 65 (3), 365–376.

Kensley, B. & Walker, I. (1982) Palaemonid shrimps from the Amazon Basin, Brazil (Crustacea: Decapoda: Natantia). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 362, 1–28.

Maciel, C.R., Quadros, M.L.A., Abrunhosa, F.A., Peixoto, S.N.B., Schneider, H. & Sampaio M.I.C. (2011) Occurrence of the Indo-Pacific freshwater prawn Macrobrachium equidens Dana 1852 (Decapoda, Palaemonidae) on the coast of Brazilian Amazonia, with notes on its reproductive biology. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 83, 533–544.

Magalhães, C., Bueno, S.L.S., Bond-Buckup, G., Valenti, W.C., Silva, H.L.M., Kiyohara, F., Mossolin, E.C. & Rocha, S.S. (2005) Exotic species of freshwater decapod crustacean in the state of São Paulo, Brazil: records and possible causes of their introduction. Biodiversity and Conservation, 14, 1929–1945.

Magalhães, C., Campos, M.R., Collins, P.A. & Mantelatto, F.L. (2016) Chapter 11. Diversity, Distribution and Conservation of Freshwater Crabs and Shrimps in South America. In: Kawai, T. & Cumberlidge, N. (Eds.), A Global Overview of the Conservation of Freshwater Decapod Crustaceans. Springer International Publishing AG, Cham, pp. 303–322.

Meireles, A.L., Valenti, W.C. & Mantelatto, F.L. (2013) Reproductive variability of the Amazon River prawn, Macrobrachium amazonicum (Caridea, Palaemonidae): influence of life cycle on egg production. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 41 (4), 718–731.

Melo, G.A.S. (2003) Manual de identificação dos Crustacea Decapoda de água doce do Brasil. Loyola, São Paulo, pp. 362–363.

Miers, E.J. (1877) On a collection of Crustacea, Decapoda and Isopoda, chiefly from South America, with descriptions of new genera and species. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1877, 653–679.

Mossolin, E.C., Peiró, D.F., Rossingnoli, M.O., Rajab, L.P. & Mantelatto, F.L. (2013) Population and reproductive features of the freshwater shrimp Macrobrachium jelskii (Miers, 1877) from São Paulo State, Brazil. Acta ScientiarumBiological Sciences, 35 (3), 429–436.

Ottoni, F.P., Lezama, A.Q., Triques, M.L., Fragoso-Moura, E.N., Lucas, C.C.T. & Barbosa, F.A.R. (2011) Australoheros perdi, new species (Teleostei: Labroidei: Cichlidae) from the lacustrine region of the Doce River Valley, southeastern Brazil, with biological information. Vertebrate Zoology, 61, 137–145.

Pileggi, L.A.G. (2009). Sistemática filogenética dos camarões do gênero Macrobrachium Bate, 1868 do Brasil: Análises morfológicas e moleculares. Ph.D. Thesis, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências, Área—Biologia Comparada, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, 236 pp.

Pileggi, L.G., Magalhães, C., Bond-Buckup, G. & Mantelatto, F.L. (2013) New records and extension of the known distribution of some freshwater shrimps in Brazil. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, 84 (2), 563–574.

Pileggi, L.G. & Mantelatto, F.L. (2012) Taxonomic revision of doubtful Brazilian freshwater shrimp species of genus Macrobrachium (Decapoda, Palaemonidae). Iheringia, Série Zoologia, 102 (4), 426–437.

Ramos-Porto, M. & Coelho, P.A. (1998) Malacostraca–Eucarida–Caridea (Alpheoidea excluded). In: Young, P.S. (Ed.), Catalogue of Crustacea of Brazil. Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, pp. 325–350.

Rodríguez, G. (1982) Freshwater shrimps (Crustacea, Decapoda, Natantia) of the Orinoco basin and the Venezuelan Guayana. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 2, 378–391.

Sampaio, S.R., Nagata, J.K., Lopes, O.L. & Masunari, S. (2009) Camarões de águas continentais (Crustacea, Caridea) da bacia do Atlântico oriental paranaense, com chave de identificação tabular. Acta Biológica Paranaense, 38 (1–2), 11–34.

Schmitt, W.L. (1936) Macruran and Anomuran Crustacea from Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba. Zoologische Eigebnisse einer Reise nach Bonnaire, Curaçao und Aruba im Jahre 1930. No. 16. Zoologische Jahrbücher, Abteilung für Systematik, Oekologie und Geographie der Tiere, 67, 363–378.

Senna, P.A.C. & Magrin, A.G.E. (1999) A importância da "boa" identificação dos organismos fitoplanctônicos para os estudos ecológicos. In: Pompêo, M.L.M. (Ed.), Perspectivas da limnologia no Brasil. Gráfica e Editora União, São Luís, pp.131–146.

Silva, R.R., Sampaio, C.M.S. & Santos, J.A. (2004) Fecundity and fertility of Macrobrachium amazonicum (Crustacea, Palaemonidae). Brazilian Journal of Biology, 64 (3), 489–500.

Soares, M.R.S. (2008) Biologia populacional de Macrobrachium jelskii (Crustacea, Decapoda, Palaemonidae) na represa de Três Marias e no rio São Francisco, MG, Brasil. Master Thesis, Curso de Pós-graduação em Biologia Animal, Área—Conservação de Grupos Silvestres, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, 74 pp.

Tamburus, A.F., Mossolin, E.C. & Mantelatto, F.L. (2012) Populational and reproductive aspects of Macrobrachium acanthurus (Wiegmann, 1836) (Crustacea: Palaemonidae) from north coast of São Paulo state, Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Aquatic Science and Technology, 16 (1), 9–18.

Vera-Silva, A.L., Carvalho, F.L. & Mantelatto, F.L. (2016) Distribution and genetic differentiation of Macrobrachium jelskii (Miers, 1877) (Natantia: Palaemonidae) in Brazil reveal evidence of non-natural introduction and cryptic allopatric speciation. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 36 (3), 373–383.

Wiegmann, A.F. (1836) Beschreibung einiger neuen Crustaceen des Berliner Museums aus Mexico und Brasilien. Archiv für Naturgeschichte, 2, 145–151.

Young, C.G. (1900) The Stalk-eyed Crustacea of British Guiana, West Indies and Bermuda. John M. Watkins, London, 514 pp.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand