Tiny new species discovered as scientists’ outback fishing trip bags exotic catch

February 16th, 2021

Scientists uncover a variety of tiny aquatic animals, known as stygofauna, within aquifers in the Northern Territory.

Research scientists from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and Charles Darwin University used fishing rods and handlines to plumb the depths of underground aquifers in the Northern Territory revealing a diverse variety of tiny aquatic animals known as stygofauna, mostly between 0.3 and 10 millimetres in length.

Results confirm Northern Territory aquifers support a diverse range of stygofaunal species. All Beetaloo stygofaunal communities sampled were dominated by crustaceans, with with new genera and species likely to be present.

Read the full news release here  337KB


CSIRO’s Dr Daryl Nielsen and Charles Darwin University’s Dr Stefanie Oberprieler fishing for stygofauna in central Northern Territory. 917KB

Nightmare in the dark: The blind shrimp shrimp Parisia unguis is the apex predator of the Beetaloo stygofauna.  613KB

The stygofauna research team in the field with extraction pump – left to right CSIRO’s Dr Gavin Rees and Dr Daryl Nielsen, CDU’s Professor Jenny Davis and Dr Stefanie Oberprieler.  1MB