Among the live diets used in the larviculture of fish and shellfish, nauplii of the brine shrimp Artemia constitute the most widely used food item. Annually, over 2000 metric tons of dry Artemia cysts are marketed worldwide for on-site hatching into 0.4 mm nauplii. Indeed, the unique property of the small branchiopod crustacean Artemia to form dormant embryos, so-called ‘cysts’, may account to a great extent to the designation of a convenient, suitable, or excellent larval food source that it has been credited with. Those cysts are available year-round in large quantities along the shorelines of hypersaline lakes, coastal lagoons and solar salt works scattered over the five continents. After harvesting and processing, cysts are made available in cans as storable ‘on demand’ live feed. Upon some 24-h incubation in seawater, these cysts release free-swimming nauplii that can directly be fed as a nutritious live food source to the larvae of a variety of marine as well as freshwater organisms, which makes them the most convenient, least labour-intensive live food available for aquaculture.