Branchinectella spinosa Schmankewitsch, 1873
Common names: Russ: Brankhinektella koluchaya; Ukr: brankhinektella kolucha
Taxonomic descriptions: One of 29 species of the genus characteristic to Australian fauna. Distinctive features of species: relatively weakly developed antennas II; epipodites of I-III pairs of appendages differ markedly in the amount of well distinct teeth and spines.
Black Sea Regional level: EN
Subregion level: EN (Ukrainian sector)
Distribution: Range includes Eurasia (from Southern Europe to Central Asia - Mongolia), North Africa (Morocco, Algeria), Mediterranean and Black Sea coast of Turkey. Found in the north-western part of the Black Sea in saline water bodies near Odessa, Kinburn peninsula and adjacent areas of the Kherson and Mikolaiv oblasts (Golaya Pristan, Ochakov). Encountered in water bodies of the Crimean peninsula and the foot of the Caucasus.
Habitats type, Critical habitats, Limiting factors: Shallow waters (depths of 0.3-2.5 m), usually drying. Saline lakes and puddles (1.5-9.5 ppt).
Biology: Halobiont; filtering organisms; feeds on bacteria, phytoplankton, detritus and small crustaceans. The active life phase in the spring generation occurs from early April to late July at water temperature of 4-26°C, the summer generation - from July to September at temperatures of 19-33°C. It has 1-2 spring and 3-4 summer generations. Life span of generations is 45-65 and 25-35 days respectively. The amount of broods is 3-5 with 20-310 eggs each. The life cycle includes the following periods: nauplial 7-15, prereproductive - 8-19 and reproductive - 18-24 days. Fertility of females in the spring period is lower than in summer.
Population trends: Untill 1940 it was encountered in the Kuyalnitsky and Khadzhibeysky limans. At present it is sometimes numerous, in areas where it is found.
Threats: Cattle grazing, pollution of water bodies by runoff from cattle farms etc.
Conservation measures taken: Included in the Red Data Books of Ukraine and the Black Sea. Protected together with other hydrobionts in the Chernomorsky Biosphere Reserve (Ukraine).
Conservation measures proposed: Organization of biological control for the state of the population.
Compiled by: B.Alexandrov