Subject: aquatic but
Location: Kendall County Texas
May 30, 2012 8:01 pm
The enclosed image is of a bug(?) found in a stock tank in central Texas. We’ve not seen one of these before.
Can you identify it?
Signature: Claude Hildebrand
The Tadpole Shrimp or Triops is a primitive crustacean that is typically found in arid areas that have seasonal ponds. The eggs hatch during the rainy season when the ponds fill with water. The Tadpole Shrimp grow quickly and lay eggs that are preserved in the mud when the pond dries out. You can read more about Tadpole Shrimp on the Triops Information Page website. We also located information that they are found in the Southern High Plains of West Texas in this online research paper entitled Tadpole shrimp structure macroinvertebrate communities in playa lake microcosms for your reading pleasure. What do you mean by “stock tank”?
Thanks for your prompt response. After looking at it a bit more, I realized that it probably wasn’t an insect, but wasn’t able to find anything like it online.
A “stock tank” is a small water reservoir in a pasture, usually made by excavation of the soil, which holds rain water for the purpose of feeding livestock. They are quite common in this area, which originally was devoted to farming and ranching. The shrimp apparently live in the mud in the bottom of the tank.
As I said, we’ve never seen any of these before (at least not in the last 50 years or so). It is one of many animals, plants, and insects that have arrived here in the last couple of decades. I never expected the flora and fauna to change as much as it has over my lifetime.
I’ll look at the links you provided. It would be interesting to know how they arrived at our tank.
Thanks for the update Claude.