A disease of Macrobrachium rosenbergii, the giant freshwater prawn, farmed in China was recently recorded in Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Guangxi and Guangdong provinces. The clinical sign of the disease, which develops in post-larvae (PL), is a whitish appearance of the muscles, particularly noticeable in the abdomen. Mortalities may reach 100% in some hatcheries. Investigations by transmission electron microscopy after negative staining of diseased PL homogenates showed the presence of two types of viral particles: one, unenveloped, icosahedral in shape, 26-27 nm in diameter, the second, much smaller, about 14-16 nm in diameter, designated extra small virus particle (XSV). The large virus has a genome with two pieces of ssRNA (RNA-1 and RNA-2), of 3 and 1.2 kb, respectively. Hybridization tests confirmed that this large virus is closely related to M. rosenbergii nodavirus (MrNV) which was isolated from diseased prawns in a hatchery in the French West Indies. Its very small size and hypothesized biochemical and biological characteristics suggest XSV is a new type of crustacean virus. As XSV has always been found associated with the larger virus( nodavirus) and is located in muscle and connective cells of diseased animals, it could be an autonomous virus, a helper-type virus or a satellite-like virus.