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Daphnia pulex, the water flea, greatly enlarged. Paul Herbert/Creative Commons

Family: Daphniidae

Species in Genus Daphnia:


Text credit: JL

Daphnia is a genus of tiny freshwater aquatic crustaceans found in lakes, streams, and ponds. They have a jerky swimming motion and small size (.2 to 5 mm), earning them the common name "water fleas."

Live Daphnia are eaten with relish by aquarium fishes, but their nutritional value is rather modest, as a considerable percentage of their body mass is a chitinous exoskeleton. This serves the purpose of providing fiber to the fish and stimulating healthy digestion.

Daphnia is available live, frozen, and freeze-dried.

Many species exist, with Daphnia pulex and Daphnia magna.

Facts about DaphniaRDF feed
Family Daphniidae  +
Text credit JL  +