|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 a water flea)
Water fleas - fascinating pond organisms
Name (genus): Daphnia
Size : 0.5 - 4 mm
Where to find them : Planktonic, or amongst plants, organic matter etc.
Notes : Water fleas are a delight to observe under the microscope. The beating heart, compound eye and moving limbs can all be seen as they have a transparent shell. The water flea shown is the well known genus Daphnia which are often available in pet shops for fish food.
Another common water flea Simocephalus is similar but usually larger. Chydorus, is another common one, but smaller and more globular, and often found amongst weeds.
Water fleas are easy to spot in a jar of pond water by the jerky movements of their second antennae (shown left). Hence their common name, although they are not fleas.
The females often carry live young, and if you are lucky they may give birth while you are examining them.
Published in Micscape Magazine February 2001.
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All images © Wim van Egmond