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Fairy Shrimp (Order Anostraca)
Invertebrates Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Fairy Shrimp (Order Anostraca)

General: Fairy Shrimp (Order Anostraca) are tiny crustaceans that live in temporary pools (i.e., vernal pools, tinajas) in the southwestern United States. Fairy Shrimp are delicate creatures that lack a shell, and their transparent bodies get to about 1-inch long. They have many pairs of tiny legs that they use for swimming, and they have two black eye spots.

Fairy shrimp feed on detritus (decaying organic matter).

Taxonomy: Order Anostraca; several families.

Clam Shrimp (Order Conchostraca)
Tinaja full of fairy and clam shrimp; Grand Canyon

Fairy Shrimp hatch, mature, and mate before their vernal pool dries up. Females lay eggs (actually cysts) that can survive for several years in the sand or dried mud during hot summers. The cysts hatch when the pool refills with water, and the cycle of life repeats.

Fairy shrimp share their habitat with clam shrimp, tadpole shrimp, midge larvae, and other tiny creatures.

Please be careful around tinajas and vernal pools so as not to damage the habitat or injure the creatures that live in them. Don't wash in tinajas because soap will hurt the wildlife.

Fairy Shrimp (Order Anostraca) Fairy shrimp in shallow water.
Fairy Shrimp (Order Anostraca)
Fairy shrimp with egg sack; lateral view
Fairy Shrimp (Order Anostraca)
Fairy shrimp with egg sack; lateral view
Fairy Shrimp (Order Anostraca)
Fairy shrimp with egg sack; ventral view
Fairy Shrimp (Order Anostraca)
Fairy shrimp with egg sack; ventral view
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 121025

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