Subphylum: Crustacea – Crustaceans
Family: Daphniidae: Water Fleas
Scientific Name: Simocephalus vetulus (O. F. Müller, 1776)
Length: 1.1-3.8 mm.
This rather peculiar, microscopic organism is actually a crustacean, which also includes crabs and lobsters. Simocephalus vetulus has a compartively small head with an elongated eyespot. Compared to other similar species it is the more transparent of them.
It feeds by filtering small phytoplankton (microscopic marine algae) species from the surrounding water.
It is found in freshwater environments like small ponds, ditches, and canals. It is known as an early colonist of newly constructed ponds, or after disturbances in established water bodies.
Distribution & Status
It appears to be common and widsepread in England and Wales, being scarcer further north.