New survey of Artemia Leach, 1819 (Crustacea: Anostraca) in Tunisia: Report of three new populations

Document Type : Scientific note



The presence or absence of Artemia in some natural habitat can have several explanations. Artemia cysts can be naturally dispersed over long distances by becoming attached to feathers or after surviving passage through digestive system of wading birds or being carried by wind. They can be also deliberately inoculated into salt pans for salt production improvement or for aquaculture purpose. Tunisian wetlands are composed by 254 sites, where temporary saline lakes: sabkha and chott represent 30% of totals surface of wetland. In last Artemia biogeographical study in Tunisia, this branchiopod was reported from 23 sites. However, in this work Artemia is reported from three new sites composed by two natural salt lakes (Sabkhat Kouria and Sabkhet Nadhour) in Kuriat Island and one artificial pond of seawater desalination plant in Ben-Guerdane. Reproduction mode study revealed that Artemia from Sabkhat Kouria and Sabkhet Nadhour are bisexual, while Artemia from Ben-Guerdane is parthenogenetic.