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Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp (Brachinecta Lynchi) Fairy Shrimp Status -- Federal: Threatened; California: None The vernal pool fairy shrimp has a life span Vernal Pool Tadpole Shrimp (Lepidurus Packardi) from December to early May (if water Status -- Federal: Endangered; California: None temperature stays below 75 F). The vernal pool tadpole shrimp is more The vernal pool fairy shrimp temperature-tolerant, and has a life span from and tadpole shrimp are two December until the vernal pools dry up. species of Crustaceans found in Food Photos: Brent Helm, Jones & Stokes Assoc. California’s vernal pools. Vernal pool fairy shrimp are filter and These unique, seasonal aquatic suspension feeders. Their diet mainly consists of unicellular algae, bacteria, and habitats form when winter rains ciliates. They may also scrape algae, diatoms fill shallow depressions. Lined and protists from the surface of rocks, sticks with impervious clay, the pools and plant stems. persist for several months, then Vernal pool tadpole shrimp are predators. gradually evaporate during Map from Fairy Shrimps of California’s They feed on other invertebrates in the pools Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp spring. Pools, Puddles and Playas by D. Belk & C. H. and amphibian eggs. They may also eat some Ericksen, used with permission. Vernal pool shrimp are vegetation. generally 1 - 1.5 inches Reproduction Shrimp eggs are laid by the adults each winter season. long. However, eggs may lie dormant in the soil for up to ten years before hatching. Genetic diversity is important for the survival of any species. One pool’s Fairy shrimp are usually shrimp population may have genes another pool’s population lacks. This translucent, while diversity may mean that the first population survives a disease or other threat, tadpole shrimp are a which kills the population that doesn’t have the needed gene. The genes of light to dark brown. different shrimp populations can be mixed when eggs are moved from one pool As dictated by their to another via wind, water, or in the stomachs of migrating birds. Small, ephemeral habitat, fairy isolated populations of shrimp are more likely to go extinct because they lack shrimp have short life the genetic diversity to withstand threats Vernal Pool Tadpole Shrimp Distribution spans. The vernal pool fairy shrimp is found scattered throughout the Central Valley from Shasta County to Tulare County, along the Coast Range from Solano California Department of Pesticide Regulation County to San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, and in southern Endangered Species Project California in Riverside and San Diego Counties. The vernal pool tadpole www.cdpr.ca.gov shrimp is found in the Central Valley from Shasta County to Merced County.
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