Why is the Volcano Shrimp (Opae ula, Halocaridina rubra) so famous ?

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sent the volcano shrimp into space in 2001.

The shrimp survived the3 G-force space shuttle launch.

NASA put them in a clear glass windows called Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) to conduct the experiment.

Volcano Shrimp resiliency makes it an ideal subject to study the effect of micro gravity on board the International Space Station. Read here.

What is an Anchialine pond or Anchialine pool ?

The word anchialine come from greek word anchialos, which means near the sea.

It is used to describe pond or pools near to the shoreline. The pond has no surface connection to the sea.

Sea water enter the pond through narrow underground openings and cracks.

If you wanted to know anything about Hawaii anchialine pools and their amazing and largely endemic inhabitants, this book is a great introduction.

Anchialine pools are usually brackish pools that are usually fed by underground passages in lava or limestone. They are populated by a unique and sometimes rare collection of invertebrates. One in particular, Halocaridina rubra or opae 'ula, is commonly sold as an aquarium pet or in miniature biospheres.

The authors have written a concise yet easy to read guide to these pools, the species, the fragile nature of their ecosystems, and their vulnerability to over harvesting, habitat destruction, introduced species, and development.

The book is also full of gorgeous photographs, many taken by the authors and by others for which they give full credit. It's not a large book, at 112 pages, but it is a gold mine of information.

What is brackish water ?

Brackish water is the mixing of fresh water and salt water naturally. This water is saltier than fresh water, but not as salty as seawater.

To check the salinity of the brackish water, you can use an inexpensive salinity hydrometer.

How does the habitat of the Volcano Shrimp (Opae ula, Halocaridina rubra) look like ?

The volcano shrimp live in brackish water pond called Anchialine pond.

This video takes you into the anchialine pond, the natural environment of the volcano shrimp.

The plants you see in the video are marine algae (seaweeds), cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), and native widgeon grass (Ruppia maritima).

Plants such as non-native pickleweed (Batis maritima), makaloa (Cyperus laevigetus), and akulikuli (Sesuvium portulacastram) can be found at the edge of these pond.

These plants have the ability to tolerate the salty water.

The habitat consists of lava rock and limestone.