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Review of the African distribution of the brine shrimp genus Artemia

H Kaiser, AK Gordon, TG Paulet


Brine shrimp (genus Artemia) are small (8 to 12 mm long) cosmopolitan crustaceans (Anostraca) found predominately in hypersaline water bodies such as inland salt lakes and pans, coastal lagoons, and salt works at salinity levels above 40 g·ℓ-1. They have been extensively studied due to their high monetary value as food for larval fish in aquaculture and their unique reproductive strategies. Brine shrimp occur as either bisexual species or as parthenogenetic populations. Despite published reviews of their world-wide distribution little is known about their occurrence in Africa. This review adds new information about 70 African Artemia sites and lists 26 potential sites and their coordinates. Sixteen sites in Southern Africa and Namibia were visited during a collecting trip, and new information on the reproductive mode of nine of these sites is given. Several South African populations exhibit bisexual reproduction. In Namibia there are two parthenogenetic populations (Walvis Bay and Swartkops) and an additional bisexual population (Hentie\'s Bay). A mixed population (bisexual and parthenogenetic reproduction at the same site) was found at Coega, South Africa.

Water SA Vol.32 (4) 2006: pp.597-603
AJOL African Journals Online