Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Mollusks, Crustaceans, and Related Species » Tadpole Shrimps Fairy Shrimps and Clam Shrimps and Water Fleas: Branchiopoda - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Fairy Shrimps, Tadpole Shrimps, Clam Shrimps, Water Fleas, And People - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE

Tadpole Shrimps Fairy Shrimps and Clam Shrimps and Water Fleas: Branchiopoda - Common Water Flea (daphnia Pulex): Species Accounts

york press freshwater accessed

Physical characteristics: Common water fleas are small, measuring 0.008 to 0.1 inches (0.2 to 3 mm) in length. They are flattened from side to side. A large, folded carapace covers all but the head. They have two pairs of antennae and five pairs of leaflike limbs.


Geographic range: Common water fleas are found in North America, Europe, and the cooler regions of South America.


Habitat: Common water fleas live in freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.


Diet: They eat algae and microscopic animals such as rotifers.


Behavior and reproduction: Water fleas migrate up and down through the water on a daily cycle. They reproduce by parthenogenesis in spring and early summer. Late in the season, some of these eggs develop into males, marking the beginning of a period of reproduction by mating. Eggs produced by mating, or sexual reproduction, have Water fleas migrate up and down through the water on a daily cycle. (Roland Birke/OKAPIA/Photo Researchers, Inc.) thick shells. Females produce three to nine eggs at a time. The young take six to eight days after hatching to reach adulthood.


Common water fleas and people: Common water fleas are kept in laboratories as living test subjects for the detection of water pollutants.


Conservation status: Common water fleas are not considered endangered or threatened. ∎


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Books:

Bliss, D. E. Biology of the Crustacea. New York: Academic Press, 1982–1985.

Erikson, C., and D. Belk. Fairy Shrimp of California's Puddles, Pools and Playas. Eureka, CA: Mad River Press, 1999.

Pennak, Robert W. Freshwater Invertebrates of the United States, 3rd ed., Protozoa to Mollusca. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1989.

Schram, Frederick R. Crustacea. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Thorp, J. H., and A. P. Covich, eds. Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates, second edition. New York: Academic Press, 2001.

Web sites:

Cladocera. http://www.cladocera.uoguelph.ca/ (accessed on February 8, 2005).

Fairy Shrimp. http://www.vernalpool.org/inf_fs.htm (accessed on February 8, 2005).

Introduction to the Branchiopoda. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/crustacea/branchiopoda.html (accessed on February 8, 2005).

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