Few know that there are freshwater shrimp in Portugal. Inhabits rivers and streams. There are records in the center of the country, in the limestone areas north of Lisbon and it is relatively common in the streams of the Algarve.
Atyaephyra desmarestii, as scientists call it, is naturally distributed in the western Mediterranean. The distribution area includes the North African coast (Morocco and Tunisia), Iberian Peninsula, Southern France and Italy, including the islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily. In other parts of the world, even in some rivers in Central Europe, the species has been introduced.
Freshwater shrimp are similar in appearance to marine shrimp. It lives only a few months and normally does not hibernate, it lays eggs and thus ensures the next generation that appears the following year.
In addition to algae, plankton, small aquatic animals such as mud and debris tube worms freshwater shrimp can also feed on fallen leaves in the water. They themselves are prey to dragonfly larvae.
This summer the species was detected for the first time in a biological pool that is sometimes supplied by water from the Mira River, from where its distribution is also known.