Haloarcula californiae was isolated from brine from a saltern at Guerrero Negro, Baja, California. Under a light microscope, the cells are flat and angular in shape. The cells have been observed to grow at an optimal NaCl concentration between 3 and 4M. They can survive in 5M solutions, but cannot grow in 2M solutions. The generation time is approximately 4 to 5 hours at 37 degrees Celsius. The cells also require magnesium.
In the initial study of Haloarcula californiae in 1982, the cells exhibited penicillin and streptomycin resistance, but were susceptible to bacitracin, rifampin, kanamycin, and anisomycin.