Daphnia

Daphnia, a genus of small planktonic crustaceans, are 0.2–5 millimetres (0.01–0.20 in) in length. Daphnia are members of the order Cladocera, and are one of the several small aquatic crustaceans commonly called water fleas because their saltatory swimming style resembles the movements of fleas. Daphnia live in various aquatic environments ranging from acidic swamps to freshwater lakes and ponds.

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What Are Daphnia?

Daphnia are small (the size of a flea) crustaceans that typically live in the bottom of ponds. They feed on algae and are known to reduce algae in the water garden pool. Fish are very fond of Daphnia, they have a jerking motion that attracts the fish to consume them rapidly.

How Long Do Daphnia Live For?

Daphnia usually live about ten to thirty days and can live up to one hundred days if their environment is free of predators. An individual will generally have ten to twenty instars, or periods of growth, during their lifetime.

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