Author: Francisco Javier Mas Ferrà
Scientific name: Artemia salina
Place of photography: Photo taken in the laboratory of the IES Algarb with specimens collected in the water duct located between Platja d’en Bossa and the ponds of Ses Salines (Ibiza).
Artemia salina is a small crustacean that can measure 15 mm in length. It lives in lagoons and areas with high salinity. It is the main food source of flamingos and for many fish.
The characteristic color of the flamingos is due to a combination of Artemia salina and Dunaliella salina, a planktonic algae that provides the reddish tone of the ponds. The A rtemia, which feeds on the algae, as do the flamingos, concentrates more carotenes to turn the birds’ feathers pink, which thus seem healthier and are more attractive to their congeners.