Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Fairy Shrimp - Eubranchipus

Fairy Shrimp - Eubranchipus
The Arboretum, University of Guelph, Guelph, Wellington, Ontario, Canada
April 15, 2008
Size: ~ 6 mm
Speaking of Fairy Shrimp, I thought I'd share this image of the freshwater crustacean, that *could* be mistaken for an insect (or some larva) by the untrained eye. Common in fishless, vernal environments ranging from pools to swamps. They appear and develop well before most insects emerge, thus avoiding all except for the earliest of predatory insects (such as Dytiscids). Eubranchipus sp. [Chirocephalidae]


When we were kids we would go hiking out next to the fighter runways. There were these mile long ditches which had concrete basins every few hundred feet. I don't know if they were for drainage or fire fighting, anyway... they were often dry (Spain is hot), but whenever they had water in them BOOM - fairy shrimp. We loved to catch a few and watch them swim in a jar. Free sea monkeys (brine shrimp ?). They would live their whole lives in a short time, lay eggs, the pool would dry up, and the eggs would wait for the next rain. Fun stuff.

Quite cool
Here's another interesting shrimp from Bug Guide contributor Peter Bryant:

Interesting stuff
Always wanted to find one of these in a patch of seaweed or similar debris. Maybe I will someday...