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Kingdom: Animalia
Sub Kingdom: Eumetazoa
Super Phylum: Protostomia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Sub Phylum: Crustacea
Class: Branchiopoda
Order: Anostraca
Family: Artemiidae
Genus: Artemia
Species: A. franciscana - A. salina


Commonly called Brine Shrimp, Artemia are small aquatic animals (zooplankton) used as live, freeze-dried or frozen foods for a variety of captive organisms. Mostly used as early live food for fish and shrimp larval culture.


Life Cycle

Brine shrimp reproduce either sexually or asexually via parthenogenesis. Females produce eggs that either develop as live young or form a hard shell (cysts) as a result of environmental conditions. Newly hatched baby brine shrimp (NHBBS) known as Nauplii, transform through 15-17 moulting stages lasting about eight days before reaching the adult stage. Two important stages for aquarists are the first stage, instar 1 and the second stage, instar 2. During instar 1, nauplii do not eat and rely on yolk reserves. Approximately eight hours later the nauplii enters the instar 2 stage and may start feeding on small food particles less then 50um.


Chemical removal of the shell (chorion) exposing a thin hatching membrane and embryo. Brine shrimp cyst shells; are not digestible, carriers of disease, decrease water quality and can become lodge inside larval fish resulting in death. Hatching rates and percentages increase after decapsulation and left over eggs are fully edible.


Captive Care