Understanding the processes that shaped the strikingly irregular distribution of species richness across the Tree of Life is a major research agenda. Changes in ecology may go some way to explain the often strongly asymmetrical fates of sister clades, and we test this in the caridean shrimps. First appearing in the Lower Jurassic, there are now ~3500 species worldwide. Carideans experienced several independent transitions to freshwater from marine habitats, while many of the marine species have also evolved a symbiotic lifestyle. Here we use diversification rate analyses to test whether these ecological traits promote or inhibit diversity within a phylogenetic framework. We demonstrate that speciation rates are more than twice as high in freshwater clades, whilst symbiotic ecologies are associated with lower speciation rates. These lower rates amongst symbiotic species are of concern given that symbioses often occur in some of the most diverse, delicately balanced and threatened marine ecosystems.