Macrobrachium hirtimanus is a species known to exist only in Reunion and Mauritius. Locally known as Betangue, it measures between 4 and 5 centimeters and has a dark-coloured, marbled shell.
The species lives from the upper waterfall basins down to the lower reaches of rivers.
It is believed that the species may already be extinct due to the significant threats of excessive collect. Due to lack of assessments, however, the species is considered ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species. Freshwater ecosystems have been historically impacted by large scale deforestation. Habitat modification in smaller streams and water bodies as well as the arrival of exotic species are believed to contribute to the decline of native species.
Freshwater shrimp – also known as prawns – play an important role in the food web.