Marine Fresh Tropical Offered Species


Fairy Shrimp -- Our Ebay ad




Fairy shrimp are found in almost any part of the world -- at least where there exists such a thing as a vernal pool. A vernal pool is a pond that forms in the late spring and dries up by the fall. Fairy shrimp are adapted for this environmental condition. They will live while the pool is filled and leave eggs -- really resting cysts -- that will hatch when the pool refils in the next spring or summer. They survive since this type of pool usually has no fish -- since they do usually do not create resting eggs/cysts to eat up the shrimp. An exception to this are some species of killiefish that create a similar 'resting' egg.

They are fresh water animals -- and not really true shrimp. Ours come from Thailand where there are actual aquaculture farms breeding them as food for ornament fish. The eggs are available on Ebay but you have to wait a while. We had some similar ones a couple of years ago from Brazil -- they looked the same. I suspect a wetter environment produces some different varieties when compared to the desert critters in the following links. Here are a few links with information on where they come from and about raising them:

Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp (just one of the many species -- this one around the Oregon area)
Note that the article states that these guys swim upside down -- check out the videos below -- the ones we have don't do that -- go figure.

The Fairy Shrimp that inhabit vernal pools -- apparently in California Note that our variety does not have the red eyes -- ours have black eyes.

Read the articles or any of the many similar web pages for more information on the species. See our article on culturing daphnia in this same web page group -- 'Products Offered'. This article describes the unique method of reproduction used by daphnia -- which is not the method employed by fairy shrimp -- but the care and feeding are equivalent.

Info -- on culturing daphnia. Clicking on this link will download a Word Document file to your computer. It is safe -- and hopefully entertaining.

I put up some YouTube videos of our fairy shrimp -- check them out.

Fairy shrimp on a dime Note that our variety does not have the red eyes -- ours have black eyes. They swim right side up and have that unusual forked tail. These two are all we have left from some we hatched a couple of months ago. We are not sure if they are both males? The dime is there for size comparison purposes.

In an odd side story -- one of Rhonds's axotyl friends thought they were insects -- and Rhonda clearly sees the resemblance to earwigs and sees them as creepy. Rhonda used her Galaxy 6 but failed to turn it sideways -- thus the odd framing.

fairy shrimp at 120 hours in Ro over red and white card The same fairy shrimp -- from earlier days -- when the world was new for them. Note that the colors and forked tail develop later. I do not know what happens to the middle eye -- or light sensor -- perhaps it is now clear. This video was taken with our digital microscope/endoscope -- at about 120x -- it cost only about $40 -- everyone should have one.

fairy shrimp at 96 hours in a small bowl The same fairy shrimp -- from earlier days -- when the world was new for them. You may have wondered why I filmed them over a red card in the previous video -- perhaps it is now clear why I did that. Check out the still photos below -- the video is the source of the still shots but it is nearly impossible to get a good shot of these busy bodies.

one of the large fairy shrimp from the video above PageFiles/moina daphnia 1.jpg
The video was taken using a Galaxy 6 phone and the picture below just snapshots from VLC media player. I did not agonize over getting the exact pixel dimensions in the HTML -- so if the pics looked squashed -- just use the enlarged versions -- click on them. Note the brilliant colors and the feathery brushes of their flippers -- apparently there are just 11 pairs of them -- but it sure looks like more. If you have any idea of what and why the tails move as they do -- Rhonda wants to know.   Click to Enlarge

both of the large fairy shrimp from the video above PageFiles/moina daphnia 1.jpg
Note the brilliant colors and that there are two distinct colors for the caudal penduncle -- possibly indicating what?? Note that the one with the redder tail base has green-tinged flippers. Bye the way -- when we sell these we will refuse to sex them -- or sort by color variety -- you will get 'staight run' -- whatever was in the tank. Not seeing any egg pouches would seem to indicate two males -- but what about the two colors?? This is a kind of science project for us and perhaps we will know more in due time.   Click to Enlarge

the shrimp from the above video when they were youthful -- 5 days old PageFiles/fairy shrimp at 120 over red
The video is better as these guys just don't stand still. But you can see they are right side up and the unique tail has not yet formed -- they look like feathers with eyes.   Click to Enlarge

the same shrimp from the above video when they were youthful -- 5 days old PageFiles/fairy shrimp at 120 over white
You can see why I put the red card with white letters under the clear bowl. In an odd coincidence the 120 refers to 120 hours and the magnification. These guys are really small.   Click to Enlarge



a pic of our russian red daphnia for comparison purposes russian red daphnia 1.jpg
  Click to Enlarge Note that if you zoom in you can see some shells -- remember it is a good thing as it shows they are growing.





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