Brazos Bend State Park
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Gator Hatch

Pond Life of Brazos Bend State Park

Water Fleas: Order Chladocera

Water fleas, also called dafnia, are sometimes very common at Brazos Bend State Park. They are tiny crustaceans, usually 1-2 mm long. They have a round body, branched antennae, and many legs, usually hidden by their shell. They are usually seen lying on their sides.

They swim in a jerky motion by waving their antennae.


Water Flea 1.2 mm long magnified 40 X

Water Flea 1.2 mm long

Water fleas are scavengers, feeding on tiny pieces of debris in the water. They work their legs very rapidly to get the water around them circulating, then pick bits of food out of the water as it flows past their mouths.





Updated: Sep 06, 2011