Finke Gorge National Park

Finke Gorge NP | Boggy Hole | Palm Valley | Fauna | Flora

The Shield Shrimp (Triops australiensis) is a member of the order Notostraca (also referred to as notostracans), which are small crustaceans in the class Branchiopoda. Also commonly called Triops, tadpole shrimp or shield shrimp, these strange looking creatures have not changed their appearance since the Triassic period, over 220 million years ago. They can be considered as one of the oldest living animal species on earth.

The shield shrimp belong to a group of crustaceans that are adapted to the arid outback conditions and found living in ephemeral pools, claypans and temporary waterholes. The eggs are drought resistant, blown about by the winds, then when the right conditions occur, such as heavy and flooding rain, they hatch and live through an accelerated life cycle.

The following images were taken at Palm Valley after a heavy period of rain swept through the region.

Check out our Fauna Index for more information on the Shield Shrimp.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Crustacea
  • Class: Branchiopoda
  • Order: Notostraca
  • Family: Triopsidae
  • Genus: Triops
  • Species: T. australiensis
  • Binomial name: Triops australiensis