Tadpole Shrimps – A General Review of the Little Known Crustaceans of Ephemeral Waterbodies

Michał Rogacki (Institute of Technology and Life Sciences, Falenty, Raszyn, Poland)
Adam Brysiewicz (Institute of Technology and Life Sciences, Falenty, Raszyn, Poland)


In time of global climate changes, astatic inland water reservoirs that contribute to water retention and alleviation of adverse effects of periodic river floods, are getting more and more important. Small, periodically drying off water reservoirs are also rich hubs of biodiversity. Animals especially connected to such ecosystems are primitive but unique crustaceans called tadpole shrimps (order Notostraca). Those animals seem to have universal significance – both ecological and economic. Though their primitive morphology and small size, they can radically affect the nature of their habitats, sometimes even helping us fight with noxious pests. Unfortunately, due to progressing global warming, intensification in agriculture, and urbanisation, habitats of notostracans are disappearing rapidly. Simultaneously, because of their rare occurences and taxonomic difficulties, tadpole shrimps have been insufficiently studied. However, protection of these crustaceans is inseparably connected with conservation of once numerous, periodically drying reservoirs as tadpole shrimps are referred as keystone species of such habitats. Thus, the aim of this review article is to sum up and disseminate current state of knowledge about Notostraca by a general overview of available international literature. This might help to engage more scientists into research and conservation of these little known, yet interesting crustaceans and their unique habitats.


Notostraca; Branchiopoda; Nature maintenance; Astatic water reservoirs; Hydrobiology

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/re.v3i2.2910


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