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Daphnia Andy
Waterflea450w-Andy Daphnia-Anatomy

Female Daphnia

60x Magnification.

Anatomy of a female Daphnia

Daphnia - Water flea  (Daphnia pulex)

60x Magnification.

A very common crustacean found in lakes, ponds, and streams in large numbers around the UK and very interesting under a microscope, especially as the carapace is translucent.  I was surprised to see babies moving around inside the brooding chamber. You can see everything working including its heartbeat and watch its feeding process with food moving down the digestive tract which can be seen in my movie. I did notice and film the eyes rotating on its ciliary muscles. The beating of the legs which is very fast which I found fascinating to watch produces a current through the carapace which collects food particles into the digestive tract. Sometimes ingesting tiny crustaceans but mostly algae and various sorts of organic detritus including protists and bacteria as they are mainly filter feeders. The branching antennae which look impressive under a microscope are used to swim. Because they are transparent and all their organs can be seen Daphnia's are often used in laboratories where they can be kept easily on a diet of yeast. Daphnia spp. is also a popular live food sold in pet shops for tropical and marine fish keeping. The Daphnia I filmed was returned to my garden pond.

Micro pictures were taken with a

Celestron Amoeba Dual Purpose Digital Microscope (Model 4432)