I had the pleasure of wading around in a vernal pool at Harper Park in Peterborough this afternoon and found 100’s of fairy shrimp (Eubranchipus sp.). They are an indicator species for vernal pools. Wood Frogs breed in this same pool. The pool has lots of ice in it still, and I saw no evidence of frog or salamander activity yet, but I will be checking regularly. I am delighted to have finally found a vernal pool that I don’t have to drive for an hour to get to.  The pictures I have attached are of my boot and you can see shrimp swimming everywhere. There are also lots of mosquito larvae.
Can’t wait to go back as the season progresses!

Sue Paradisis

Note: Vernal ponds are non-permanent ponds that contain water for a few months in the spring and early summer. They lack a permanent above-ground outlet. They are the preferred breeding site for many species of frogs and salamanders, since they do not contain fish (which would eat amphibian eggs).

Fairy shrimp – Eubranchipus Grubii – Wikimedia

Freshwater shrimp – Harper Park – March 28, 2017 – Sue Paradisis


Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.