Caridina spongicola and Caridina woltereckae are two species that are very often confused and mislabelled. Although similar, these species can be differentiated.
C. spongicola is generally smaller than C. woltereckae, with a shorter rostrum. The rostrum of the second species extends beyond the scaphocerite, whereas it does not in the first. C. woltereckae also has more striking colouration, with stronger purple-red and more thick white. A less practical, yet reliable, way of differentiating between the species is by the number of eggs the female carries. In C. spongicola, the female typically carries between 12 and 18 eggs, whereas in C. woltereckae this number is typically between 19 and 29.
Below are images of the two species for comparison. The first image is of C. spongicola and the second is of C. woltereckae.
Distribution and habitat:
Both species are endemic to Lake Towuti of Sulawesi, Indonesia. However, C. spongicola has so far only been found in the outlet bay, whereas C. woltereckae is widely distributed within the lake. This is presumably due to their ecological niches. C. spongicola appears to be in symbiosis with an undescribed species of sponge which occurs only in the outlet bay of Lake Towuti, thus restricting the distribution of this specialised species. The shrimp does not appear to feed on the sponge itself, and so it is not a parasitic relationship, but rather a commensalistic or mutualistic relationship. On the other hand C. woltereckae is a typical hard substrate dweller.
To differentiate accurately and reliably, I suggest using the morphological difference in the length of the rostrum relative to the scaphocerite.
- “The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 2009 57(2): 343-452
The majority of information!
Image of Caridina spongicola.
- “Chris Lukhaup”:
Image of Caridina woltereckae.