Phototactic behavior of beaver-tail fairy shrimp (Branchiopoda: Anostraca)
Maria A Gaughan, Nicolas Lessios. Assumption University, Worcester, MA, United States

Branchiopods are a group of crustaceans that are often found in temporary pond habitats, and are thought to predominantly use light cues for orientation. Fairy shrimp (Branchiopoda: Anostraca) are unusual because they generally swim with their ventral side upward, which correlates with the direction of light. Fairy shrimp could use a ventral light reflex for orientation purposes. Phototactic responses are wide-spread through crustaceans that live in the water column. Beaver-tail fairy shrimp are found in the family Thamnocephalidae, and are conspicuous inhabitants of the temporary habitats were they live. Here, we present findings of phototactic responses of Thamnocephalus. We also ask, are there sex-specific differences in their photoactic responses based on the coloration of these shrimp?