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Sulawesi shrimp species

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Does anyone know with certainty which varieties of sulawesi shrimps can interbreed and which can not?

Does anyone have experience or knowledge of hybridising them?


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I defer to the Sulawesi experts, but my take on it is that they are unlikely to interbreed.

And even if it happened by accident, the eggs might not be viable even if the female shrimp lays and becomes berried. The question is will the eggs survive?


Many species  live in the same lake, like for example:

Caridina glaubrechti, Caridina holthuisi, Caridina lanceolata, Caridina lingkonae, Caridina loehae, Caridina masapi, Caridina parvula, Caridina profundicola, Caridina spinata, Caridina spongicola, Caridina striata, Caridina tenuirostris, Caridina woltereckae,

will not interbreed because they are already living in the same Lake Towuti without creating thousands of hybrids.

The Malili lake system is interconnected with rivers, so if any interbreed is going to happen, it would have already taken place.


Lake Matano is home to these shrimp

C. dennerli, C. holthuisi, C. lanceolata, C. loehae, C. mahalona, C.masapi, C. parvula.

The Caridina dennerli is found only in Lake Matano, but it doesn't seem to interbreed with shrimp that are also found in both Matano and Towuti. 

Edited by jayc
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The only report i heard of interbreeding was between dennerli and holthuisi.

Those reports are as always to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Have a look at this link

Never heard first hand reports though, but i dont know too many breeders having more than one sulawesi specy per tank except from people keeping dennerli and spinata together

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Although this thread is more than a year old, I was just now reading it and had recently found much regarding the potential for hybrid Caridina shrimp.  The Wikipedia page for the Caridinia genus says that species that are from the same geographic area (aka sympatric) often can hybridize.  On other forums, many people have said that most of the Caridinia can interbreed with another, with the exception of some like the Amano whose breeding habits are incompatible.  I don't mean that all of them can interbreed with all of the other, but rather most can interbreed with at least a few others. 

For anyone that is breeding pure lines and wants to avoid hybrids, they may need to be careful which species cohabitate.   When different species from the same area are related, they have often descended from common ancestors and are genetically capable of interbreeding, even if they don't normally in the wild.  These are tiny little critters that occupy specific niches in their native habitats.  They mainly live near the shores and up small tributaries where they are safe from predation by larger fish and can hide from birds and other predators.

Even though they may live on opposite banks of the same lake, the predatory fish of the open water in between can keep them genetically isolated as effectively as land separating them.  In an aquarium where they are free to mingle, species are much more likely to interbreed with others with which they are related.  Their breeding methods also help maintain the isolation of groups.  Egg scattering fish lay lots of eggs that are scattered by currents throughout a body of water, but live bearing fish and shrimp maintain more isolated groups.  A nearly microscopic eggs might be carried from one side of a lake by wind and currents to the opposite side before they hatch and grow large enough to be seen by predators,  but a more visible, free swimming shrimp, regardless of its age, is more likely to be eaten during the same trip.  The shrimp would also need a food source during it cross-lake trip.  The open waters of a lake will not have the same foodstuffs available as the shrimp enjoy in their native shallow habitats near the shore.

Then there is their size.  For a 1 inch boy shrimp to travel 4 miles around or across a lake to visit a lady shrimp that has molted, is in hiding, and is giving off pheromones to attract boys who can find her, it is a MAJOR trip, especially as there are cute lady shrimps closer to home that are easier to find.  It would be equivalent to me deciding to walk 300 miles (while foraging for my own food by hand) through a swamp filled with crocodiles, snakes, bears, wolves, leeches, ticks, and mosquitoes to a singles bar in another state, when there are perfectly nice ladies in my hometown who would welcome some attention and have posted their profiles on a dating website.  Shrimp only get to ride in cars, planes, trains, and boats when we help them.

I'm a shrimp keeping novice and would normally not think of contradicting any post by JayC.  It might be that because of Australia's restrictions on imported wildlife, the non-native Caridina species they are most familiar with may be exceptions to general rules.  Given that Australia's native wildlife is so wonderfully unique in general, there is no reason to think their native Caridina would behave like those anywhere else.

I just got 30 Caridina pareparensis parvidentata (aka Malawa Shrimp) to keep my Neo Davidi company, so I have no firsthand knowledge about them.  They are a rusty-tan colour, but I like the natural, wild look they give to my 55 gallon planted shrimp tank.  One thing I enjoy most is that they are much more active when the tank's lights are on, so it is easy to see them.  My Neo Davidi are most active when the lights are off at night, and hide underneath leaves or inside masses of Java Moss when the plant lights are on.  

I've kept fish for 50 years, but only started with shrimp a year ago.  I love these little shrimps!

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5 hours ago, gtippitt said:

I'm a shrimp keeping novice and would normally not think of contradicting any post by JayC

LOL I don't mind differing opinions.

Your example above presumes a shrimp from one side of sulawesi lake system NEEDS to travel in a straight line across the middle of the lake to get to the other side.

You forget that a lake can be navigated along it's circumference a whole 360deg along it's shore line. So even if it sticks to only the shallows, it can get to the other side eventually. And if they live in the shallows, safe from predating fish, then they can still get to the other side of the lake - all along the shoreline. 

Besides that, have you seen the sulawesi lakes? There are photos of these shrimps all over. From shallows to the middle. The various species are not clustered in a group of their own, but instead they all live with other species. That is, they have the potential to interbreed, yet they don't and are home to, not a thousand hybrids but instead we 'only' have a dozen or so. Why?

We are talking about the sulawesi shrimp here specifically. They are separated by a few systems of lakes.

Anything in the same lake has already been interbreeding for hundreds of years to the point where another of the subspecies that is found in the same lake is introduced, it is unlikely to happen since they live like that in the wild. There is a very good possibility why Sulawesi shrimp are as colourful as they are to avoid interbreeding with a different species, since so many different species live in the same lake.

This same thought on interbreeding does not apply to CRS or Cherry varieties of caridina. Only Sulawesi as is the topic of this post.

Edited by jayc

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