Vernal pool fairy shrimp, Branchinecta lynchi, (Branchiopoda; Anostraca) and other fairy shrimp species have been listed as threatened or endangered under the US Endangered Species Act. Because few data exist about the sensitivity of Branchinecta spp. to toxic effects of contaminants, it is difficult to determine whether they are adequately protected by water quality criteria. A series of acute (24-h) lethality/immobilization tests was conducted with 3 species of fairy shrimp (B. lynchi, Branchinecta lindahli, and Thamnocephalus platyurus) and 10 chemicals with varying modes of toxic action: ammonia, potassium, chloride, sulfate, chromium(VI), copper, nickel, zinc, alachlor, and metolachlor. The same chemicals were tested in 48-h tests with other branchiopods (the cladocerans Daphnia magna and Ceriodaphnia dubia) and an amphipod (Hyalella azteca), and in 96-h tests with snails (Physa gyrina and Lymnaea stagnalis). Median effect concentrations (EC50s) for B. lynchi were strongly correlated (r2 = 0.975) with EC50s for the commercially available fairy shrimp species T. platyurus for most chemicals tested. Comparison of EC50s for fairy shrimp and EC50s for invertebrate taxa tested concurrently and with other published toxicity data indicated that fairy shrimp were relatively sensitive to potassium and several trace metals compared with other invertebrate taxa, although cladocerans, amphipods, and mussels had similar broad toxicant sensitivity. Interspecies correlation estimation models for predicting toxicity to fairy shrimp from surrogate species indicated that models with cladocerans and freshwater mussels as surrogates produced the best predictions of the sensitivity of fairy shrimp to contaminants. The results of these studies indicate that fairy shrimp are relatively sensitive to a range of toxicants, but Endangered Species Act-listed fairy shrimp of the genus Branchinecta were not consistently more sensitive than other fairy shrimp taxa. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:797–806. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.