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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Longtail Tadpole Shrimp - Triops longicaudatus

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status


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General Description
The longtail tadpole shrimp is the largest species of tadpole or fairy shrimp found in Montana. They can reach up to 2.5-3.5 inches (80 millimeters) in length. This species of tadpole shrimp (order Notostraca) is a member of the crustacean class Branchiopoda. Their large, hardened carapace (shell) makes them look like a fat tadpole swimming through the water or crawling along the bottom. They are important components of many freshwater and saline intermittent or temporary wetlands (Dodson and Frey 2001 and Brendonk et al. 2008). These animals are especially common in seasonal wetlands, where populations are maintained by banks of resting eggs that may remain dormant and can survive drying periods of decades or longer (Brendonck 1996). Mostly found in the prairie ecoregion in habitats of isolated temporary or ephemeral wetlands that are fishless and dry up regularly.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 9

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Food Habits
Longtail tadpole shrimps scavenge both living and dead plant and animal materials.

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Brendonck, L, D.C Rogers, J Olesen, S Weeks, and W.R Hoeh. 2008. Global Diversity of Large Branchiopods (crustacea: Branchiopoda) in Freshwater. Hydrobiologia. 595.1 167-176.
    • Brendonck, L. 1996. Diapause, Quiescence, Hatching Requirements: What We Can Learn from Large Freshwater Branchiopods (crustacea: Branchiopoda: Anostraca, Notostraca, Conchostraca). Hydrobiologia: the International Journal of Aquatic Sciences. 320 p. 85-97
    • Dodson, S.I. and D.G. Frey. 2001. In: Thorp, V.H. and A.P. Covich. Ecology and classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. Academic Press, San Diego, CA.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Longtail Tadpole Shrimp"
  • Additional Sources of Information Related to "Fairy Shrimp"
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Citation for data on this website:
Longtail Tadpole Shrimp — Triops longicaudatus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from