A New Species Of Shrimp Has Been Discovered In A Zoo Aquarium

An unknown species of shrimp that has apparently lived undetected in a zoo’s reef aquarium probably since it was but 20 years ago has been confirmed by experts.

The Tiergarten Schonbrunn zoo located in the city of Vienna in Austria reported that a new species of shrimp was living in the waters of the reef aquarium on Thursday on 17th June 2021.

The little fellow was named Heteromysis schoenbrunnensis after the zoo, and was discovered by a marine scientist from the Haus des Meeres (House of the Sea in English) which is a public aquarium in Austria’s capital.

The new shrimp species (Heteromysis schoenbrunnensis) that was discovered in the Vienna Zoo in Austria. (Helmuth Goldammer/Newsflash)

Head of the Tiergarten Schonbrunn Zoological Department Anton Weissenbacher told Newsflash: “We always saw these hover prawns swimming around whenever we checked the tanks or fed the fish. These animals, that are no bigger than 6,1 millimeters (0,24 inches) usually appear in swarms and in multiplied amounts of numbers.”

Knowing that another shrimp species was already discovered in the Haus des Meeres in 2019, Weissenbacher contacted his colleagues from the public aquarium.

Curator at the Haus des Meeres and marine biologist that worked on the new shrimp species Daniel Abed-Navandi said: “During the lockdowns I had enough time to deal with this research. A marine biologist in Vienna without the possibility of travelling is effectively like sitting on a dry land.”

The new shrimp species (Heteromysis schoenbrunnensis) that was discovered in the Vienna Zoo in Austria. (Helmuth Goldammer/Newsflash)

Abed-Navandi microscopically examined the shrimp for weeks in great detail and compared even its tiniest body parts to 107 other closely related hover shrimp species.

After noticing significant differences in the number, length and thickness of the shrimp’s bristles, he was then able to confirm that it was the discovery of a new species.

Navandi described the species colour as more intense yellow in comparison to the other species and said: “We named this shrimp species Heteromysis schoenbrunnensis after the place where it was found.”

Daniel Abed-Navandi (left) and Anton Weissenbacher (right) who discovered the new species at the Vienna Zoo in Austria. (Daniel Zupanc/Newsflash)

Weissenbacher, who believes the new shrimp is native to the Indo-Pacific, added: “It [the species] probably hitchhiked its way here in stone cracks around 20 years ago when we were setting up our reef aquarium.”

The Heteromysis schoenbrunnensis is the second species that was discovered in an Austrian zoo after scientists came across a tropical land snail from Borneo which was named Schwammeria after the zoo’s deputy director Harald Schwammer in 2010.

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