Significance to humans

The genus Artemia is of considerable economic importance. The cysts of this species are harvested, cleaned, dried, packed and sold as fish food in the aquarium business. The cysts are also used in industrial aquaculture to feed fish larvae. The Libyan Fezzan desert contains several spring-fed dune lakes that have turned saline with time. Small communities living around these lakes use Artemia as their main source of animal protein. The women collect and dry the shrimp. These communities are called dawada (worm eaters) by the surrounding Arab tribes.

A species of Streptocephalus and a species of Branchinella are found in the hills of northeastern Thailand. These anostra-cans are fished by local tribespeople and used in a variety of local dishes.

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1. Sudanese fairy shrimp (Streptocephalus proboscideus); 2. Brine shrimp (Artemia salina). (Illustration by Patricia Ferrer)

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