Currently viewing the category: "Crustaceans"

Subject:  Mystery Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Mid Michigan
Date: 08/23/2021
Time: 01:55 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These bugs were found on tree limbs that had been cut. I can’t find anything that says what they are.
How you want your letter signed:  unsure what this means


Dear Unsure,
These are Sowbugs, Terrestrial Crustaceans that help break down decaying vegetable matter in the woods and garden.


Subject:  More images of Fairy Shrimp
Geographic location of the bug:  Florida, St. Petersburg
Date: 08/31/2019
Time: 12:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I know i’ve sent fairy shrimp images before, but those were pretty low-quality(sorry about that), so I took some more images!
Some aquarium equipment is visible in the images because i’m trying my hand at raising them- so far so good, they’re comfortable enough to reproduce(it isn’t a very romantic affair…)
All these images are females, as they have their brood pouches full, still awaiting the day where i notice one depositing eggs…..
I still love fairy shrimps more than ever and i’m super happy that i’m able to submit these images, fairy shrimp go largely unappreciated on the internet!
How you want your letter signed:  Chance Arceneaux

Fairy Shrimp

Dear Chance,
Thanks for submitting new images of your Fairy Shrimp as well as information about raising them in captivity.  As we requested in our response to your previous submission of Fairy Shrimp:  ” We wish you had submitted larger digital files of your images as the quality was somewhat degraded when we formatted the low resolution files for posting.”  Once again we had to increase the size of your 300×400 pixel png file to convert it to a 550×800 pixel jpg.  Please do not reduce the file of your images in the future.  We would much rather decrease the file size of a larger image than to increase the file size which leads to image degradation.

Subject:  Images of Fairy Shrimp
Geographic location of the bug:  Florida
Date: 08/25/2019
Time: 02:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I never knew fairy shrimps even existed in Florida- and seeing these in a vernal pool near my school made me so, so excited! They are my favorite invertebrates on this earth(just look at their cute little eyes, awww), and I felt like i needed to share a little bit of my joy with you!
How you want your letter signed:  Chance Arceneaux, Fairy Shrimp Fanatic

Fairy Shrimp

Dear Chance,
We share your enthusiasm.  Daniel first discovered Fairy Shrimp over 50 years ago in a vernal pond in Northeast Ohio, and when a funeral home was built on the site of the pond that also provided a home for tadpoles and numerous aquatic insects, it was probably his first experience with the loss of open space due to development, a cause for which he remains dedicated to oppose.  Daniel was quite excited when he discovered Fairy Shrimp in a vernal pond near the L.A. River in 2010.  We wish you had submitted larger digital files of your images as the quality was somewhat degraded when we formatted the low resolution files for posting.  BugGuide includes Florida among the locations where Fairy Shrimp have been sighted and reported.

Subject:  bug id
Geographic location of the bug:  Santa Cruz Mountains
Date: 08/08/2019
Time: 08:45 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found these bugs in my spring water filter, and a few in my tank.  Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed:  lesley obermayer

Freshwater Crustacean

Dear Lesley,
We cannot provide you with a species identification, but this is some type of Freshwater Crustacean, probably an Amphipod or Isopod.  Most Amphipods are found in saltwater, but they can also be found in freshwater, including in caves.  According to BugGuide:  “A clear view of the antennae is needed to identify freshwater amphipods beyond order level.”  The only freshwater species pictured on the Natural History of Orange County is
Gammarus, and we would eliminate that as a possibility.  California Fish and Game has an online paper entitled Checklist of inland aquatic Isopoda (Crustacea: Malacostraca) of California, but there are no images.  BugGuide has an image of an Isopod in the family Asellidae and the genus Lirceolus that looks very similar to your individual, and we would attempt additional research by searching for members of the family Asellidae found in California.  The previously noted paper by California Fish and Game includes many family members, but again, there are no images.  This could be a rare endemic species, or it might be an exotic introduction.   Though we cannot provide you with anything more specific, we do feel confident that their presence will not adversely affect the quality of your spring water.

Freshwater Crustaceans

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much. You appear to have identified our bugs.
Now we have to figure out how to eliminate them. Appreciate you taking the time and trouble to help us out.
Enjoy your days,
Lesley Obermayer

Freshwater Crustaceans

You are welcome.  You might want to check with your local natural history museum for a more definitive identification.

Subject:  Help! These are in my laundry room.
Geographic location of the bug:  Houston, Texas
Date: 05/12/2019
Time: 09:13 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please tell me what these are. I have been finding them by the door that leads outside, next to my dogs crate in the laundry room
How you want your letter signed:  Becky S

Lawn Shrimp

Dear Becky,
You have Lawn Shrimp, also known as House Hoppers.  They are introduced terrestrial Amphipods from Australia that have naturalized in California, and have also been reported in Georgia, according to BugGuide, but this is the first report we know of from Texas.  According to BugGuide their habitat is  “Moist soil and organic matter within 13 mm of the surface, often among ivy or other ground covers, mostly eucalyptus. Their exoskelton has no waxy coating to keep moisture in, so they can’t survive dryness. They drown in water, though, so they need continuously moist, but not waterlogged conditions.”  BugGuide also notes:  “These are rarely seen except when flooding or lack of moisture forces them to abandon their home in the soil in search for suitable conditions. At such times they often end up dieing on pavement or in homes and become a nuisance. Once they start appearing, there’s not much that can be done except to sweep them up- pesticides are pointless, bcause by then they’re already dying or dead.”


Subject:  Pond Pupa?
Geographic location of the bug:  Connecticut
Date: 04/24/2019
Time: 03:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Good afternooon,
These little guys move with a jerking movement, are about 2mm in length, inhabit the water about 6-18 inches below the surface and are so numerous that it’s hard to believe.
How you want your letter signed:  Dylan

Water Fleas

Dear Dylan,
These are freshwater Crustaceans in the genus
Daphnia, commonly called Water Fleas because of the way they move through the water in a “jerking movement.”  Daphnia are a common live food used by many enthusiasts to feed aquarium fish.  You can find matching images on An Image-Based Key to the Zooplankton of North America and there is a nice drawing on Researchgate.  According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information:  “The genus Daphnia includes more than 100 known species of freshwater plankton organisms found around the world … They inhabit most types of standing freshwater except for extreme habitats, such as hot springs. All age classes are good swimmers and are mostly pelagic, i.e., found in the open water. They live as filter feeders, but some species may frequently be seen clinging to substrates such as water plants or even browsing over the bottom sediments of shallow ponds. Adults range from less than 1 mm to 5 mm in size, with the smaller species typically found in ponds or lakes with fish predation. The ecology of the genus Daphnia may be better known than the ecology of any other group of organisms.”

Water Fleas

Thank you!
You all are amazing, I really appreciate it!