Fairy Shrimp – 4/10/10
Observer: Paul Lauenstein
Observation Date: 4/10/10
Observation Location: Hockomock Swamp, Easton
Common Name: Fairy Shrimp
Scientific Name: Eubranchipus vernalis
Comments: These tiny crustaceans live in vernal pools.
Female fairy shrimp produce several broods of encysted eggs which must dry and be re-submerged before they will hatch. Hatched larvae develop quickly into mature adults which reproduce several times.
The drought and cold resistant cysts withstand ingestion by animals, may be blown by wind from a dry pool, or carried along with mud or plant matter. The rapid development and reproduction of fairy shrimp places their activity period in a vernal pool at a time (winter and early spring) when there are few predators present. Fairy shrimp die off as the pool temperature reaches 50° F.
More Information at: Vernal Pool.org