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Life cycle of Artemia, from cysts to adult brine shrimp. Photo Collage by Matthew Wittenrich.

[edit] Overview

Small aquatic crustaceans found in marine bays and lakes worldwide and a mainstay food in aquaculture. Adults are used for feeding and conditioning many fishes and invertebrates and newly hatched larvae, known as Artemia nauplii are rich in lipids and unsaturated fatty acids and are an important food for baby fish and invertebrates.

Adult brine shrimp are not a particularly nutritious food unless "enriched" by feeding them with a nutritional supplement (such as Selcon) several hours before using them as food.

Brine shrimp are prodigiously fertile, producing huge numbers of eggs that are in leathery cysts and capable of remaining in a dry, dormant state for years. When reintroduced to water, they hatch within 24 hours.

So-called "Sea Monkeys," sold as a curiosity, are nothing more than baby brine shrimp that hatch out of cysts.

There is just one genus, Artemia


Native range:

Taxonomic rank: Family

Common name: BRINE SHRIMP

Total known Total profiles
Subfamilies 0 0
Genera 1 1
Species 13 1

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[edit] Genera

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Reference: The Complete Illustrated Breeder's Guide to Marine Aquarium Fishes
Image credit: MLW
Text credit: JL