desktop pet

Hey, remember that time when I cleared off my side table, moved the couch, and pulled curtains up and away just to take advantage of the only decent light in my apartment?

ʻŌpaeʻula, Halocaridina rubra

A tiny anchialine pool shrimp endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.  These are the most seen anchialine pool shrimp of Hawaiʻi, often because they are a popular desktop pet.  They are remarkably long-lived and hardy, surviving for years in containers without feeding or much gas exchange. 

According to legend, a princess named Pōpōʻalaea hid from her jealous husband in a cave of Waiʻānapanapa in Maui.  After finding her there, her husband, Chief Kaʻakea, killed her and her attendant.  It is said that on the night of Kū, the pool of the cave turns blood red as a reminder of the princess.  This phenomenon is attributed to a multitude of these crimson shrimp. 

These were found in South Kona, Hawaiʻi Island.

(See Place Names of Hawaiʻi by Pukui, Elbert, & Moʻokini)