Significance to humans

Triops longicaudatus and T. cancriformis are considered pests of rice fields in countries where rice is directly planted. These tadpole shrimps may occur in enormous numbers, and they expose and eat the roots of rice seedlings while paddling through the mud in search of food. In Japan, however, the rice is planted as plantlets and T. longicaudatus is considered a biological control agent of weeds. Dormant cysts of some species of Triops are sold throughout the world in kits for rearing as aquatic pets.

1. Vernal pool tadpole shrimp (Lepidurus packardi); 2. Longtail tadpole shrimp (Triops longicaudatus). (Illustration by Bruce Worden)

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