Currently viewing the category: "Fairy Shrimp"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

fresh water daphnia or nymph?
April 22, 2010
Collected April 20 2010
I took the water from a ditch adjacent to several acres of swamp. The waterway was not flowing and lined with fallen winter grass. It was very clean looking water. Not much is growing yet. Spring is early by about three weeks here. I’ve been through a number of pdf files on line and read from a lot of different sites, but there’s been no joy yet.
A short video clip that’s better than most of the images I’ve provided.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkIXo1fI0pY
Thanks for your time in reading this.
Grateful to live in the wild
Southern Manitoba Canada

Fairy Shrimp

Dear Grateful,
Daphnia are Crustaceans, a subphylum of the Arthropods, hence they are distant relatives of insects.  Your creature is a different freshwater crustacean, a Fairy Shrimp.  Fairy Shrimp have unusual life cycles similar to that of Brine Shrimp.   Fairy Shrimp live in temporary vernal ponds and they lay eggs which need to dry out when the water evaporates.  In Canada, the eggs pass the winter under the snow in the dried mud, and when the spring thaw produces ponds, the eggs hatch and the young quickly develop, needing to mate before the ponds dry out again. Read Full Post →

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

April 18, 2010
Yesterday, we went on an excursion with our dear friend Susan’s family because daughter Violet wants to find tadpoles.  We thought the new natural area of the Rio de los Angeles State Park in Cypress Park would be a great place to find them because we can hear the frogs croaking each night from our Mount Washington home.  Alas, we drew a blank in the tadpole search, but we did see tiny creatures swimming in the pond.  When we scooped them up in a cup, we were surprised to see Fairy Shrimp, and upon returning home, a websearch led us to a page on the endangered Riverside Fairy Shrimp on the Center for Biological Diversity website.  Now we are curious about how Fairy Shrimps wound up in our newly created park.  We will be contacting our friends at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County for their opinion, and we hope to return later today with a camera.  We imagine water collected there in the spring before the creation of the park, so the eggs may have been in the dirt naturally.  Perhaps the Fairy Shrimp were introduced on the feet of water fowl.  it is most curious.
Stay tuned.

Fairy Shrimp

Update:  April 18, 2010
Today we returned to the vernal pond, though we believe it is kept wet year round, and we captured a small plastic container of Fairy Shrimp and photographed them.  We had three large shrimp and several smaller shrimp in the container, and two of the Fairy Shrimps are males.  Males have large mandibles that they use to hang onto the females during mating.  In our first photo, you can see the outlines of the mandibles in the shadows of the two individuals on the left.

Fairy Shrimps

Fairy Shrimps are graceful creatures that swim on their backs while their appendages undulate, propelling them through the water.  We hope to hear back from some local naturalists, Julian Donahue and Clare Marter Kenyon, and our friends at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County regarding the presence of Fairy Shrimp in the Rio de los Angeles State Park adjacent to the Los Angeles River in the Cypress Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.  The sighting map on the Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp website does not list any occurrences in the Los Angeles area for Fairy Shrimp, Branchinecta lynchi, but it does stress the need for habitat conservation.

Fairy Shrimp

Fairy Shrimp in the Footprint of the High Speed Rail!!!
In continuing to search for information on the Fairy Shrimp in Los Angeles County, we stumbled upon a website concerning the High Speed Rail, and Envirogridlock provided this comment:  “What, no fairy shrimp, steelhead trout, Pacific pocketmice or gnatcatchers are in the rail’s footprint?  Or have the environazis turned their heads for this project because it fits their agenda?
“  Coincidentally, the Rio de Los Angeles state park is adjacent to a proposed route of the High Speed Rail.

Julian Donahue points us to an expert
April 26, 2010
Sure. Chris Nagano is in the USFWS Endangered Species office in Sacramento, at:
He used to volunteer at the Museum and knows me well.
Julian

Lila Higgins from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles finds some information
April 26, 2010
Hi Lila, yes fairy shrimp  (Branchiopoda).  They can’t be identified
further from the photo.  Yes, vernal pools this year have been well
watered and many are hatching.  Branchiopods encyst and can withstand
dry periods until the next seanson’s rains.  Where is Rio de los
Angeles State Park?
Also, you don’t want to miss Jody and my R&C seminar 6 May — we’ll
tell you lots about crustaceans.
Fairy shrimp might be something we want to consider for North Plaza.
Sea monkeys are their close relatives that live in hypersaline water.
Kids love hatching them.  Best, Regina

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Swimming insect?fish?
September 21, 2009
I found hundreds of these swimming in a small man made lake in the backyard of my home in Winnipeg Manitoba, no one can seem to tell me what they are.
I have tried other identifying sites before but never seem to get a reply. They were out swimming around the beginning of summer. They seem to swim by fluttering the green fleshy/gill like stuff on their back. I also noticed that some of them had what looked like long egg sacks running along the top of their backs. Can someone please tell me what these are?
Carly
Winnipeg Manitoba

Fairy Shrimp

Fairy Shrimp

Hi Carly,
First we need to say that we went back through the past week’s mail to try to answer a few additional questions when we stumbled upon your letter.  We are very excited to post your images of Fairy Shrimp, freshwater crustaceans.  Fairy Shrimp often live in ponds that dry up, and their eggs are laid and eventually dry in the mud when the water evaporates.  Then the next spring, the temporary pond fills with water again and the eggs hatch, beginning a new cycle.  We have never seen green Fairy Shrimp, and in a few minutes, we are going to try to research something more specific for you.  In our childhood home of Ohio, we would catch Fairy Shrimp in March and April, so we find your September sighting unusual.  You also didn’t indicate if the lake dries out.  The one site we found in a brief search indicates vernal pools as the typical habitat, and none of the images show green Fairy Shrimp.

Fairy Shrimp

Fairy Shrimp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

please tell us what this is
the kids and i went for a walk and thought we saw minnows swimming around in swamp near home.when we looked closer found out it was some kind of larvae . can you tell us what this is? it swims on its back i think?
Steve

Hi Steve,
Fairy Shrimp are Crustaceans that are usually found in the spring in ponds that dry up in the summer. Eggs are laid and wait in the dry mud for spring rains or winter thaws before they hatch. They are relatede to Sea Monkeys.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination