Amphidromy in shrimps: a life cycle between rivers and the sea

Raymond T. Bauer



Amphidromy is a diadromous life history pattern, common in tropical and subtropical freshwater caridean shrimps, in which adults live, breed and spawn small-sized embryos in freshwater but have extended larval development (ELD) in marine waters. Most completely freshwater species spawn large embryos with either direct or abbreviated larval development (ALD). An important benefit of amphidromy is dispersal among river systems via marine larvae, which increases their access to alternative habitats. Thus, amphidromous species have much broader geographic distributions than closely related completely freshwater ones with ALD. ALD and freshwater ELD species appear to have evolved from amphidromous species with marine ancestors. Delivery of larvae to the sea in many amphidromous species is accomplished by upstream hatching and river drift of larvae to the sea. In other species, the females themselves apparently migrate down to marine waters to spawn. After development, the postlarvae must find a river mouth and migrate upstream to the adult habitat. Migrations occur at night, with juveniles swimming or crawling along the river or stream bank. Larvae are released during the wet or flood season of the year, while juvenile migrations take place during the dry or low-flow season. Both larval downstream and juvenile upstream movements are disrupted by human impacts such as dams and other forms of river control. Although much progress has been made in understanding the evolution and ecology of amphidromy, research is still needed on all aspects of shrimp amphidromy, especially in Latin America with its diverse freshwater shrimp fauna.

Bauer R. Amphidromy in shrimps: a life cycle between rivers and the sea. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res.. 2017;41(4): 633-650. Available from: doi:10.3856/vol41-issue4-fulltext-2 [Accessed 18 Jul. 2024].
Bauer, R. (2017). Amphidromy in shrimps: a life cycle between rivers and the sea. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 41(4), 633-650. doi: