VCSU Macro-Invertabrate Lab
Phylum Arthropoda - Class Branchiopoda - Water Fleas, Daphnia

Distinguishing characteristics - The body of Branchiopoda is covered by a carapace (Fig. A). They have swimming appendages, that are branched, which are their chief means of locomotion (Fig. B). Branchiopoda also have a large compound eye (Fig. C).

Tolerance Value - 8

Feeding Group - Filterer

Notes - These organisms are often called Daphnia, which is a name for a particularly common genus. Since this is a genus name, it shuld be avoided in describing all members of the group.

The head of is compact and tucked tightly to the body. The swimming appendages or second antennae have ten or less setae, which are shorter than the branches and are not segmented. One branch on the second antennae will have three segments while the other has four segments. Branchiopoda have 5 to six pairs of hairy leaf-like legs but maybe difficult to observe with a low powered microscope. Branchiopoda are important in restoring water clarity.

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