#Biodiversity150 number 52 of 150 Daphnia pulex

52/150: Daphnia – Science’s preeminent and revered crustacean

Animalia: Arthropoda: Branchiopoda: Diplostraca: Daphniidae: Daphnia: Daphnia pulex (Leydig, 1860)

Daphnia pulex (Water Flea) is the most abundant crustacean in freshwater systems. An essential part of the food web, Daphnia eat algae and phytoplankton and are food for fish, insects and water mites. Daphnia are incredible filterers, removing algae out of a lake at 4 mL/hour! Daphnia are able to change their body shape in response to increased predation, for instance, growing spines out of their carapace to deter predators. They also can reproduce asexually (parthenogenesis) or sexually and are very sensitive to changes in the environment, making them excellent bio-indicators.

This model organism is frequently used by scientists for experiments. Since they are transparent, all their organs can be observed, including their beating heart! D. pulex was also the first crustacean to have its entire genome sequenced. At the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, our Scientific Director Paul Hebert did extensive scientific research with D. pulex on its evolutionary origins, phylogenetic relationships, reproductive strategies, ecology and genetics. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

A transparent view of Daphnia pulex, photographed by CBG Scientific Director Paul Hebert. goo.gl/RRZunE
Daphnia with spines. Photo Credit: Frupus goo.gl/Gjdj9o

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID:  BBCRU036-10

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Daphnia pulex

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAA6745

Title Image: Specimen 10BBCRU-0092 – Prince Albert National Park – 20-Jun-2010 – Aquatic Free Hand Sampling
Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics