Feeding ecology and diet

The vast majority of fairy shrimps are filter feeders. They use specialized endites on their legs to collect food in the ventral food groove. The food is then pushed towards the mouth. Filter feeding allows them to collect particles as small as bacteria and as large as algal cells. Fairy shrimps can consume even rotifers, nauplii (crustacean larvae), and nauplii of their own species.

A few species, like Branchinecta ferox and B. gigas are true raptorial predators, which means that they are adapted to seize prey. They pursue, catch and eat prey the size of large clado-cerans and copepods, and other smaller-sized fairy shrimps that share their habitat.

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