Vernal Pool Fairy Shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi)

  • Post category:PRESERVE


  • There are six records of this species within 5 miles of the preserve according to the CNDDB1
  • The vernal pool fairy shrimp is federally listed as threatened. Habitat destruction and alteration are the biggest causes of decline


  • The shrimp’s habitat is limited to vernal pools in Oregon and California

Feeding Behavior/Diet

  • Vernal pool fairy shrimp swim around upside down, eating algae and plankton growing in the vernal pool
  • In order to digest their food, they must produce a thick, glue-like substance to mix with their meal


  • Each winter, during the rainy season, dry depressions fill up with water and the fairy shrimp hatch
  • They grow to maturity over several weeks, eating algae and plankton
  • Before the vernal pool dries up again, the females produce hardy resting eggs, called cysts, which survive the dry season and hatch when the rains come again
  • It takes 41 days for a shrimp to reach maturity2

1 HELIX Environmental Planning Carson Creek Preserve Long Term Management Plan Rev 6/15/2021