Where Can I Buy Tardigrades?

People often ask me where to buy tardigrades.
Here are two sources:



I haven’t purchased from them before, because I find my own. After all, I am the “Space Bear Hunter,” officially dubbed in the below video. But you may want to fore-go the risk of ticks and hanging inchworms.

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About Mike Shaw

Mike Shaw can be described as a naturalist in the classical sense. His contribution to Science is a by-product of his love for exploring the natural world. Having participated in a chimpanzee rehabilitation project in West Africa, he later travelled to the Amazon to study paper and pulp production as it relates to deforestation. Travelling to the observatory at Arecibo, he has done contributing research on their S.E.T.I. project. He is the author of books on microscope filters, tardigrades, and educational game books. He also conducted research on the tardigrade population in the state of New Jersey. His scientific paper was published in October 2013.


  1. Ruth Yeomans on March 22, 2014 at 4:26 pm said:

    So happy to disover this video and website. Have loved tardigrades since they blew my mind when I was looking at ditch water under a microscope around age 11. (Am now 69.)

  2. brysen on May 14, 2014 at 10:24 am said:

    Have you ever found tardigrades in washington state

    • Brysen –
      I’m sure you will find tardigrades in Washington State. Personally, I haven’t searched for them when i was there. Look in trees that have fluffy yellow lichen growing on the side. Good luck!

  3. Lori Ann on June 18, 2015 at 3:47 pm said:

    This is so interesting. Glad I found this video. Still wondering what they eat though. Thank You for all your work you are doing Mike. I love nature too. Thanks for sharing this with everyone.

    • Hi Lori Ann –
      Thy eat small plant pieces, and some other smaller organisms. They use their “stylets” to pierce vegetable matter, and their mouths to suck out the juices.

      Thanks for writing!

      • wow…they are amazing…but what are the smaller organisms?

        • Laydee Hawke –
          Thank you for your message. I am not sure what the smaller organisms are in this particular clip, because I don’t remember. Usually, along with tardigrades, you will see rotifers and nematodes, some bacteria if the magnification is high enough.

          Thanks for your interest! I appreciate your sharing on my website.

  4. Andrew Klimkowski on October 16, 2015 at 10:44 pm said:

    Hi Mr. Shaw,
    Which of the 21 counties in New Jersey do you believe that you may have discovered a new form of tardigrades?
    Thanks, Andrew

    • Andrew –
      Regarding my finding a new species, I found several specimens that looked slightly different that what was previously published, however I never was able to verify this on the proper equipment. So at this point I can’t report the counties where this guesswork is coming from.

      All of the counties in NJ hold the possibility of your finding a new species of tardigrade. Keep in mind, that in most cases I only took one or two samples of lichen from a single tree or piece of moss. If you are collecting tardigrades in NJ, then I recommend you just proceed and see what you find. If there is a new species, it will turn up in more than one place, that is fairly certain.

      Good luck!

  5. I’ve read that the largest Tardigrades are a salt water Caribbean species. They can be up to 1.5mm which would make them visible to the naked eye.

    Any ideas where I can specifically buy large species?


    • Chase –
      1.5 mm of the Echiniscoides sigismundi, a marine Eurasian species, isn’t that much bigger than Milnesium species which you can find in your back yard – those are 1 mm. It’s going to be nearly impossible to buy the saltwater species and preserve them and get them back to you safely from Asia. My recommendation is you search locally in the lichen in trees and you’ll see plenty meaning two of three) of tardigrades that are big enough to enjoyably observe.
      Happy hunting!

      • 1mm might be fine. That’s visible to the naked eye.

        Any tips for specific spots for them? Or just take moss/lichen samples and wait until you find the big boys?

  6. Is it possible to find them in Northern Virginia during the winter on Moss?

    • Thom –
      Thanks for your question.
      Yes – no problem to find tardigrades in Northern Virginia in all seasons. Moss will work, however after the rains you might want to check out trees with lots of yellow fluffy lichen. It will be easier to find tardigrades in lichen scrapings, and a lot less messy than dealing with moss.

      Good luck, and let us know!

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