The fairy shrimp Branchinella kugenumaensis (Ishikawa) was long considered a widely, though disjunctly, distributed species occurring from Japan through eastern Asia to southern India. Attempts by Raj (1951, 1961) to make the Indian populations a new variety (B. k. var. madurai) on the basis of antennal and frontal appendage morphology and on its distribution pattern, were considered unconvincing by later authors. Our new comparison of Japanese and Indian specimens has revealed several differences. The resting egg shells of B. kugenumaensis from Japan have irregular polygonal fields; whereas, the shells of the Indian taxon have lip-like units covered with spinules. Furthermore, there are lobes lateral to the basal penes in the Indian specimens that are lacking in the Japanese taxon. As well as differences in antennal and frontal appendage morphology. These differences correspond with previous illustrations of populations from both geographic regions and lead us to consider Raj's proposed subspecies as a valid species. This brings the number of accepted species in the genus Branchinella to 34. More specimens will need to be evaluated from the area between India and Japan to determine if B. maduraiensis is endemic to the Indian subcontinent or is more broadly distributed on the Asian mainland.