|A Virtual Pond Dip
Note: If visiting this page directly, it is designed to be used with the virtual dip in the jar of pond water.
(Example of an ostracod)
Size : 0.5 - 3 mm
Where to find them : Amongst aquatic vegetation and browsing the surface layers of bottom mud
Notes : The body of an ostracod, including the head, is enclosed by a bean-shaped shell (the carapace). If seen at low power under the microscope, just the antennae and limbs appear out of the gap between the two halves of the shell as they move amongst vegetation and mud.
Some of the smaller rounded water fleas (e.g. Chydorus) may be confused for an ostracod, but the shell of a water flea is usually much more transparent.
The ostracods, although quite easy to recognise, are often hard to identify further, because externally they all look rather alike!
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Published in Micscape Magazine February 2001.
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All images © Wim van Egmond