MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: Do fairy shrimp live temporarly in recreational swimming pools?

Date: Tue Jul 31 12:59:58 2001
Posted By: Rob Campbell, Ph.D Candidate, Oceanography, University of British Columbia
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 996517135.Zo


There are several types of shrimp that inhabit ephemeral pools. They usually spend part of their life history in an encysted egg (an adaptation to when the pond dries up), and can be transported between ponds by birds and other animals. If your pool isn't chlorinated, there's no reason why you couldn't have a population of shrimp colonizing it. Here's the most common types:

Anostracans, the fairy shrimp you mentioned, are also known as brine shrimp (because some species can tolerate very high salinities. They're often deep red in colour.
Conchostrans, or clam shrimp are another fairly common group. They are aptly named, because their carapace is bivalved, like a clam. They are also usually red in colour.
Notostracans, or tadpole shrimp, are yet another. They're pretty aptly named as well! They are also often red in colour, though you can see from the photo that it's not always! The picture is of a European species.
Cladocerans are also very common, particularly Daphnia, pictured here. They're quite different from the above shrimps, and are usually quite clear. Some can be reddish or brown in colour.

If you really want to know what you have in your pool, I'd suggest catching some (a colander will work) and looking at them closely (a magnifying glass will be a big help!)

The above pictures came from:

  • outline_physical.htm
  • Hope that helps!
    Rob Campbell, MAD Scientist

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