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Dates and Facts

cystNauplius while hatchingWhen Triops hatch out of their eggs (cysts) they are larvae and are not shaped like a Triops. Like the caterpillar and the butterfly. Because Triops are compelled to develop very fast the larvae grows to a little Triops within 24 to 48 hours by shedding its skin 4 times. It swims more powerful through the tank and makes no or less breaks.

Nauplius-stage one

After hatching the nauplius looks like a small drop. It moves by two little eggs through the water and it has one eye for osmotic balance. Directly after hatching the larvae are very weak so they sometimes jerk at one place. In most cases you can see the nauplius sinking on the ground after swimming through the tank. In this stage the larvae has no mandibles and live off a bag of yolk.

Nauplius-stage two

Nauplii in stage 3 and stage 2Under a microscope you can see that the nauplius is bigger after shedding. Legs with gills build up but they aren't useable. Also the furca is building up. The Nauplius is still moving by its little legs and it still has no mandibles.

Nauplius-stage three

After another shedding the nauplius almost looks like a Triops. Shield, endopodits and furca are almost build up completely. The masticatory organs start to be build up.

Nauplius-stage four

The little feet of the nauplius are no longer sufficient to move on. Therefore, the nauplii use their endopodits for swimming now. The Triops is now complete: the masticatory organs are formed, the shield is fixed and the furca is long enough. Two more eyes are build up,compound eyes, like they have insects.

Adulescent Triops

Now it's done: The pair of legs of the first stage is formed back to sensors, the endopodits are now only used for swimming. The Triops starts to eat. The yolk sack is used up. The cyst-bags build up will fill in about 2 weeks with eggs.

In this time the Triops has not only changed its form completely, it also doubled its size.