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?
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.