About Brine Shrimp

About Brine Shrimp

 Artemia Salina, or brine shrimp, is one of the many invertebrates belonging to the class crustacean (crab, lobster, and shrimp) and Phylum Arthropda (joint-legged).  There are different strains of brine shrimp with different names assigned to their respected isolated population.  The Great Salt Lake strain is of the Artemia franiscana super species.  Brine shrimp are also referred to as Sea Monkey, and are raised in aquariums for entertainment value.

 Brine shrimp live in hypersaline lakes where competitors are few and algal production is high and used as an excellent food source.  If conditions are perfect, the female brine shrimp can produce as many as 300 live nauplii or cysts every 4 days.  In its natural environment brine shrimp produce cysts that float to the water surface, and when blown or thrown by waves to the shoreline, become dry and inactive.  This inactivity is referred to as diapause.  Brine shrimp remain in this state until re-hydrated in sea water, where the embryo inside the shell resumes its interrupted metabolism.

 After the cysts hydrate, they rupture and release the first growth state known as a nauplius larval (1st instar).  The larvae remain in this stage for 8-12 hours, where they feed on their yolk reserves.  Because they live on their energy reserves alone in this first larval state it is necessary that they should be harvested as soon as possible after hatching so that they are given to the predators when they are richest in energy.


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