Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

Family ALPHEIDAE Rafinesque, 1815

Compiler and date details

May 2012 - Peter Davie, Queensland Museum, Brisbane



This distinctive group of shrimps is circumglobal in distribution. Species are commonly found to 45º north and south latitude, with some extending to 60º. They are common in a variety of habitats, from the littoral zone to as deep as 875 metres, and at least one tropical species occurs in freshwater. They are especially numerous on coral reefs (Chace 1988).

The late Albert and Dora Banner provided the most comprehensive treatments of Australian Alpheidae, and their work is central to any study of the members of this family (see Banner & Banner 1973, 1975, 1982a, 1982b, 1986). More recently Bruce (1983, 1987, 1988a, 1988b, 1991, 1993, 1994) has also made a significant contribution. Holthuis (1993) provided the most recent key to genera.



Rostrum, if present, usually immovably attached to remainder of carapace, without single subterminal dorsal tooth; carapace with cardiac notch present; eyestalks short, often partially or completely concealed by carapace; antennule with dorsolateral flagellum usually more or less bifurcate; second maxilliped with dactylus applied as strip to mesial margin of flexed propodus; third maxilliped bearing well-developed exopod. Pereiopods generally without distinct exopods; two anterior pairs distinctly chelate; first pereiopods (P1) robust, usually longer and more developed than P2, often sexually dimorphic; second pair with carpus subdivided into three to five segments, three posterior pairs not unusually elongate, carpus shorter than propodus. (Modified after Chace 1988).


General References

Banner, D.M. & Banner, A.H. 1973. The alpheid shrimp of Australia. Part I: The lower genera. Records of the Australian Museum 28(15): 291-382 figs 1-19

Banner, D.M. & Banner, A.H. 1975. The alpheid shrimp of Australia. Part 2: The genus Synalpheus. Records of the Australian Museum 29(12): 267-389 figs 1-29, appendix

Banner, D.M. & Banner, A.H. 1982. The alpheid shrimp of Australia. Part III: The remaining alpheids, principally the genus Alpheus, and the family Ogyrididae. Records of the Australian Museum 34(1): 1-357 figs 1-95

Banner, D.M. & Banner, A.H. 1982. The alpheid shrimp of Australia. Supplement I. Records of the Australian Museum 34(2): 359-362 fig. 1

Banner, D.M. & Banner, A.H. 1986. Two new species of Alpheid shrimp from Australian waters. The Beagle. Occasional Papers of the Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences 3(1): 21-27

Bruce, A.J. 1983. Pseudathanas darwiniensis new genus, new species, an Alpheid shrimp from the Northern Territory, Australia. Journal of Crustacean Biology 3(3): 463-471

Bruce, A.J. 1987. A new species of alpheid shrimp, Alpheus bannerorum from Northern Australia. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 4(1): 61-72

Bruce, A.J. 1988. Bannereus anomalus, new genus, new species, a deep-sea alpheid shrimp from the Coral Sea. Pacific Science 42(3–4): 139-149

Bruce, A.J. 1988. Synalpheus dorae, a new commensal alpheid shrimp from the Australian Northwest Shelf. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 101(4): 843-852

Bruce, A.J. 1991. The "African" shrimp genus Potamalpheops in Australia, with the description of P. hanleyi, new species (Decapoda: Alpheidae). Journal of Crustacean Biology 11(4): 629-638

Bruce, A.J. 1993. Potamalpheops darwiniensis (Crustacea: Decapoda: Alpheidae), the third Indo-west Pacific species. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 106(4): 698-704

Bruce, A.J. 1994. Alpheus fenneri sp. nov. and A. williamsi sp. nov., two new Indo-west Pacific Alpheid shrimps of the Brevirostris species group. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 11: 15-28

Chace, F.A., Jr 1988. The Caridean Shrimps (Crustacea: Decapoda) of the Albatross Philippine Expedition, 1907–1910, Part 5: Family Alpheidae. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology No. 466: 1-99

Holthuis, L.B. 1993. The Recent Genera of the Caridean and Stenopodidean Shrimps (Crustacea, Decapoda). Alblasserdam : Ridderprint Offsetdrukkerij B.V. 328 pp.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
22-Jul-2013 22-Jul-2013 MODIFIED
10-May-2012 10-May-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)