What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weird insect in NC Linville Gorge
Location: 3050 ft, Shortoff Mountain, Linville Gorge Wilderness, North Carolina.
January 21, 2017 12:19 am
My name is Tyler Goulet. I am in “The Linville Gorge Facebook Group”. One of the members posted a picture and video of what I believe to be some sort of nymph. My friend is a fly fisherman who has taught me a little. Yet even he can’t identify it. We believe it may have been carried in by a bird. The insect was found in the pond on Shortoff Mountain in the Linville Gorge Wilderness. Which is 3050 ft in elevation.
Attached are two pictures of the insect. One in someones hands, it located closer to the edge of water near his thumb and index finger on the left hand. Also a screenshot of the gps coordinates.
Thank you in advance for your services
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Fairy Shrimp

Dear Tyler,
This appears to be the aquatic nymph or naiad of a Damselfly.  Adults Damselflies are winged and they will frequently lay eggs in temporary ponds.

Correction:  Fairy Shrimp
Thanks to a comment from Black Zarak, we took a closer look and we are inclined to agree that this is a Fairy Shrimp.  The quality of the image is not great, but upon extreme magnification we are able to make out the swimming appendages.  This reminds us that with all the rain we have experienced in Los Angeles the past week, Fairy Shrimp may be hatching in the Rio de Los Angeles State Park in the Cypress Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Thank you for the reply.    The group also agreed that it is a fairy shrimp.    But I can’t find any information that would say they’re native to North Carolina.     I could only find states like Oregon, California and Arizona.     Thank you so much again.

Good morning Tyler,
During the 1960s, our editorial staff remembers caught Fairy Shrimp from the order Anostraca in Ohio in seasonal, vernal ponds that dried out in the summer.  BugGuide has data on sightings from nearby Georgia, Kentucky and Massachusetts, but the lack of reports from North Carolina just means no images have been posted from that state.  The Vernal Pools site has some nice information on Fairy Shrimp in Massachusetts and contains this statement:  “Winter eggs can be carried from pools to pool by traveling animals, or, in the case of pools that dry out completely, picked up in the wind and be blown to other pools. For reasons currently unknown to scientists, there is an uneven level of population in a pool from year to year. In a single pool, fairy shrimp may be abundant for several consecutive years and absent the next.”  The Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program site states:  “Two species of fairy shrimp found in Pennsylvania are the eastern fairy shrimp (
Eubranchipus holmani) and the springtime fairy shrimp (E. vernalis). The most frequently encountered species in Pennsylvania is the springtime fairy shrimp. E. vernalis has straight, smooth antennae, while E. holmani has longer antennae with medial serrations. The image to the right is a close-up view of male Eubranchipus vernalis second antennae. ”

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Linville Gorge Wilderness, North Carolina

2 Responses to Fairy Shrimp

  1. Black Zarak says:

    Kinda blurry, but looks like a fairy shrimp to me. Mainly from the bulbous eyes and split tail.

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