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In this post I will show you in detail an animal that under the magnifying glass has very striking characteristics, I will be explaining scientific data about the class: (Branquiopoda), Order (Cladocera), within this taxonomy the famous water fleas are located, to carry out this Observation I had to take a sample of stagnant water in a locality 1km from my home. Get comfortable and enjoy the post!๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿ”

En este post te mostrare en detalle un animal que bajo la lupa tiene caracteristicas muy llamativas, estare explicando datos cientificos sobre la clase: (Branquiopoda), Orden (Cladocera), dentro de esta taxonomia se ubican las famosas pulgas de agua, para realizar esta observacion tuve que tomar muestra de aguas estancadas en una localidad a 1km de mi hogar. Ponte comodo y disfruta del post!๐Ÿงซ๐Ÿงซ




It all starts here with my 2 test tubes and a fishing net, I know! You must be questioning what I think to fish? but this has a great use, using a fishing net with very small holes or fabric helps to capture the phytoplankton, all those small animals that can escape when we approach the water with the net we can catch almost all of them! well, I'm really only "interested" in water fleas.๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
Todo comienza aqui con mis 2 tubos de ensayo y una red de pesca, ya se ya se!!! debes estar cuestionandote que pienso pescar? pero esto tiene un gran uso, utilizar una red de pesca con los orificios muy pequeรฑos o tela ayuda a capturar el fitoplacton, todos esos pequeรฑos animales que pueden escapar cuando nos acercamos en al agua con la red podemos atraparlos casi todos! bueno a mi en realidad solo me "interesan" las pulgas de agua.๐ŸŒ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ›๐ŸฆŸ๐Ÿ



Also use a plastic cup that is where you would place all the organisms that you would capture with the net, the test tubes would have specific uses, the first test tube is to place a cleaner water, with a few algae and the other tube is to place a water with more time stagnant, how do I know? Stagnant water can easily give off an unpleasant odor, this indicates that it is full of bacteria and that its waste materials are emanating from the water! clear and has a dark coloration!๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜›
Tambien utilice un vaso plastico que es donde colocaria todos los organismos que capturaria con la red, los tubos de ensayos tendria usos especificos osea el primer tubo de ensayo es para colocar una agua mas limpia, con unas pocas algas y el otro tubo es para colocar una agua con mas tiempo estancada, como lo se? facil el agua estancada puede emanar un olor desagradable esto nos indica que esta llena de bacterias y que sus materiales de desechos estan a emanar del agua! claro y tiene una coloracion oscura!๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ฒ




(Water samples)๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ’ง

Microorganisms can reproduce in different environments, so it is easy to get thousands of them in still water, unlike circulating water, this because many bacteria can live with low levels of oxygen and others can carry out their physiological processes with other compounds without being oxygen, let's remember Biology classes when the teacher explained to us how plants were "filters" of toxic compounds such as ammonia! then basically an equilibrium is created where many microbes can develop!๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ 

Los microorganismos pueden reproducirse en distintos ambientes, por eso es facil conseguir miles de ellos en aguas paradas, a diferencia de una agua en circulacion esto porque muchas bacterias pueden vivir con pocos niveles de oxigeno y otras pueden realizar sus procesos fisiologicos con otros compuestos sin ser oxigeno, recordemos las clases de Biologia cuando la profesora nos explicaba como las plantas eran "filtradoras" de compuestos toxicos como por ejemplo el amonio! entonces basicamente se crea un equilibrio donde muchos microbichos pueden desarrollarse!๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ’ง๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ˜‹




With the water samples in my test tubes it was time to go to work in my personal laboratory, this time I must have read a lot of scientific material about this particular organism since I did not have a deep knowledge about water fleas, there are many species of Water fleas in European water bodies, and I mean fresh and marine water, more than 85 species of daphnia have already been classified, it is very common to find them in stagnant waters!๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿซ๐Ÿคฏ
Con las muestras de agua en mis tubos de ensayo era hora de ir a trabajar en mi laboratorio personal, esta vez debi leer mucho material cientifico sobre este organismo en particular ya que no tenia un conocimiento profundo sobre las pulgas de agua, existen muchas especies de pulgas de agua en los cuerpos de agua europeos, y me refiero a agua dulce y marina, ya se han logrado clasificar mas de 85 especies de daphnias, es muy comun encontrarlas en aguas estancadas!๐Ÿง ๐Ÿง ๐Ÿงซ




(Water samples)๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ’ง

Despite being many species of water fleas, there is very little knowledge about those that are marine, so far only 3 genera have been classified! what is the ecological term for an individual who lives in all possible places ??? uhmm .... If you don't remember, well the term is (COSMOPOLITAN) that's how Daphias can be found in any body of water, they have a great ability to adapt and resist harsh environments! and I put it to the test, I put alcohol on several water fleas and they did not die and it was like that for many minutes!๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ 

Apesar de ser muchas especies de pulgas de agua hay muy poco conocimiento sobre aquellas que son marinas, hasta ahora solo se clasificaron 3 generos! cual es el termino ecologico a un individuo que habita en todos los lugares posibles??? uhmm.... Si no recuerdas bueno el termino es (COSMOPOLITA) asi es las Daphias se pueden encontrar en cualquier cuerpo de agua tienen una gran capacidad de adaptarse y resistir ambientes hostiles! y lo puse a prueba coloque alcohol a varias Pulgas de agua y no morieron y fue asi por muchos minutos! ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ’ง๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ˜‹




So we already know that water fleas are animals that live in many types of environments, that is, from lakes, puddles, low, medium and deep areas! but there is an environment where daphnia do not feel comfortable living in it, do you know what it is? well the rivers! They do not like fast bodies of water, the vast majority are more in the shallow part and especially on the banks, if you want to find water fleas then always take samples of algae they will probably be there!๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฏ
Entonces ya sabemos que las pulgas de agua son animales que viven en muchos tipos de ambientes, osea desde lagos, charcos, zonas bajas, medias y profundas! pero hay un ambiente donde las daphnia no se siente comodo en habitarlo sabes cual es? pues los rios! no les gustan los cuerpos de agua rapido, la gran mayoria se encuentran mas en la parte poco profunda y especialmente en orillas, si quieres encontrar pulgas de agua entonces siempre toma muestras de algas ellas probablemente estaran alli!๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿซ


LET'S DO IT??๐Ÿงซ๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿ’ง/MANOS A LA OBRA?๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿซ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŽ“


The observation process is the same that I always use when I see a water sample, from the smallest lens to going up to the largest one, the microscope should always be used in this way since what we are looking for is facilitated, returning to the subject of the Water fleas, I think that answering the question: what do they feed on? ... It is not easy, they have many adaptations, so not all species are the same, and almost all have distinctive anatomical characteristics, this makes looking for them requires knowing each one well of them! since they are from specific environments!๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿ”ฌ
El proceso de observacion es el mismo que siempre utilizo cuando veo una muestra de agua, desde la lente menor hasta ir subiendo al mayor, siempre se debe utilizar el microscopio de esta forma ya que se facilite lo que estamos buscando, volviendo al tema de las pulgas de agua, creo que responder la pregunta: de que se alimentan?... No es facil, tienen muchas adaptaciones osea no todas las especies son iguales, y casi todas tienen caracteristicas anatomicas distintivas, esto hace que buscarlas requiera conocer bien cada una de ellas! ya que son de ambientes especificos!๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿงซ๐Ÿง 





(Some organisms)๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ’ง

I have just placed the drop of water on the slide and many interesting organisms already appear, I am not going to delve into them because it is not the topic of this post, but with this I can show you how interesting a simple drop of water can be, I saw rotifers , flagellates, many microalgae! all sharing the habitat of water fleas, as I always say here everything is food!๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ 

Recien coloco la gota de agua en el portaobjeto y ya me aparecen muchos organismos interesantes, no voy a profundizar en ellos porque no es el topico de este post, pero con esto puedo mostrarte lo interesante que puede ser una simple gota de agua, vi rotiferos, flagelados, muchas microalgas! todos compartiendo el habitat de las pulgas de agua, como siempre digo aqui todo es alimento! ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ’ง๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ˜‹




And here we see our first water fleas, I think I saw some different species (Camptocercus rectirostris, Alona rectangula) the latter is very similar to my photographs so I am 95% sure that this is the specimen to study, I have to admit that It is not easy to identify them, there are people who specialize only in identifying Branchiopods, well most of the water fleas feed on microalgae, others filter the detritus and then other more specialized ones that filter the plankton!๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿคฏ
Y aqui vemos nuestras primeras pulgas de agua, creo que vi algunas la especies diferentes (Camptocercus rectirostris, Alona rectangula) esta ultima es muy parecida a mis fotografias por lo que estoy 95% seguro que es este el ejemplar a estudiar, tengo que admitir que no es facil identificarlas, hay personas que se especializan solo a identificar Branquiopodos, bien la mayoria de las pulgas de agua se alimentan de microalgas, otras filtran el detritus y luego otras mas especializadas que filtran el placton!๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ 




(Photo 35x+10x)๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ’ง

What color are water fleas? they look brown right? or red? Well it is not easy, each species has a coloration depending on the habitat where it lives, so that you have an idea those that live in lakes together with the plankton do not have coloration are transparent, those that live in bodies of water with irregular terrain are yellow, those of ponds I mean mine ARE REDDISH !!! INCREDIBLE NO ??, others are black, green! some species appear in millions of individuals!๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ 

De que color son las pulgas de agua? parecen marrones verdad? o rojas? bueno no es facil, cada especie tiene una coloracion dependiendo en el habitat donde viva, para que tengas una idea las que viven en lagos junto con el placton no tienen coloracion son transparentes, las que viven en cuerpos de agua con terrenos irregulares son amarillas, las de charcas osea las mias SON ROJIZAS!!! INCREIBLE NO??, otras son negras, verdes! algunas especies aparecen en millones de individuos! ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ’ง๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ˜‹




I challenge you to identify the water flea that I photographed with the bibliographic references that I left aside, this shows how difficult it is to classify and identify these organisms, it takes many years of experience to find each species without using books!๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿซ
Te reto a que identifiques la pulga de agua que fotografie con las referencias bibliograficas que te deje a un lado, esto muestra lo dificil que es clasificar e identificar estos organismos, se requiere muchos aรฑos de experiencia para dar con cada especie sin usar libros!๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿ˜จ




Water fleas feeding๐Ÿคฏ/ pulga de agua alimentandose๐Ÿ˜จ


Water fleas play a crucial role in the trophic chain of water bodies, the vast majority serve as food for many species of aquatic animals, for example fish! many feed on daphnia, most species have a strange characteristic their beak-shaped head has a slight downward inclination with respect to the longitudinal axis! some may be visible to the eye without using the microscope and measure up to 1mm๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
Las pulgas de agua tienen un papel crucial en la cadena trofica de los cuerpos de agua, la gran mayoria sirven como alimento para muchas especie de animales acuaticos, por ejemplos los peces! muchos se alimentan de las daphnia, la mayoria de las especies tienen una caracteristica extraรฑa su cabeza en forma de pico tiene una ligera inclinacion hacia abajo respecto al eje longitudinal! algunas pueden ser visibles a la vista sin usar el microscopio y medir hasta 1mm๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฒ


If you look closely at the video you see that some make a movement and they look like small hairs that come out of their body, right? they are actually their "antennas" when we get to the ends of these antennas there are some wires that are receptors, they serve as an organism of smell and sense!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜
Si te fijas bien en el video ves que algunas realizan un movimiento y se ven como unos pequeรฑos pelos que salen de su cuerpo cierto? en realidad son sus "antenas" cuando llegamos a los extremos de estas antenas hay unos hilos que son receptores, sirven como organismo de olfato y sentido!๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘…๐Ÿ‘„๐Ÿฆพ๐Ÿง 



I adored this photo, despite not being transparent this water flea allowed me to take a good photo, there are parts of its anatomy that are very clear and it gives to differentiate, here we basically see the parts of a water flea!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜


I was very impressed with this organism because it has very fast explosive movements, it should not be very easy for a fish to capture it, it is interesting to see a microorganism with its own movement! the water flea have antennae that are thick and that serve as a locomotive organ! I read that there are some species that are predators (Bythotrephes, Leptodora)๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜
Yo quede muy impresionado con este organismo porque tiene movimiento explosivos muy rapidos, no debe muy facil para un pez capturarla, es interesante ver un microorganismo con movimiento propio! la pulga de agua tienen unas antenas que son gruesas y que le sirven como organo locomotor! lei que hay unas especies que son depredadoras (Bythotrephes, Leptodora) ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ถ




(Chitin rest)๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ’ง

The body of water fleas is composed mainly of chitin, but like shrimp this body cannot increase in size by itself so they molt, when a Daphnia molts another larger "shell" grows giving it the opportunity to expand. her body! the head is the first to shed the old chitin!๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ 

El cuerpo de las pulgas de agua estan compuesto principalmente por quitina, pero como los camarones este cuerpo no puede aumentar de tamaรฑo por si solo asi que ellas hacen mudas, cuando una Daphnia realiza muda crece otro "caparazon" mas grande dandole la oportunidad de expandir su cuerpo! la cabeza es la primera en desprenderse de la quitina vieja!๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ’ง๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿ˜‹




Water fleas make several molts depending on the environmental conditions, in a maximum of 5, when they reach sexual maturity, in winter they can take up to 2 months to make the molts! in 20 degrees they can make one change per day!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ฎ
Las pulgas de agua realizan varias mudas dependiendo de las condiciones ambientales, en un maximo de 5, cuando llegan a su madurez sexual, en invierno pueden demorar hasta 2 meses para realizar las mudas! en 20grados pueden realizar una muda por dia!๐Ÿฅถ๐Ÿฅต






You know that experiment is interesting as it affects the temperature in a water flea, according to scientific studies at a temperature of 10 degrees the "heart" can beat 170 times per minute! But what happens when the temperature rises and reaches 28 degrees for example in summer? the physiology of the flea is so fast that its "heart" beats 300 times per minute, basically twice as much !! in the videos there are some where I zoom in and you can see the "heart" beating!๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ
Sabes que experimento es interesante como afecta la temperatura en una pulga de agua, segun estudios cientificos a una temperatura de 10 grados el "corazon" puede latir unas 170 veces por minuto! pero que sucede cuando la temperatura aumenta y alcanza los 28 grados por ejemplo en verano? la fisiologia de la pulga es tan rapida que su "corazon" late 300 veces por minuto basicamente el doble!! en los videos hay algunos donde hago zoom y se ve el "corazon" latiendo!๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ’ฅ



Well friend has been everything! I have learned a lot about the ecology of these incredible animals! from the environment where they live to their anatomy and morphology, with this I say goodbye, I hope you comment and enjoy my future notes from a biologist's diary!๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–
Bien amigo ha sido todo! he aprendido muchisimo sobre la ecologia de estos increibles animales! desde el ambiente donde viven hasta su anatomia y morfologia, con esto me despido espero comentes y disfrutes de mis futuros apuntes del diario de un biologo!๐Ÿ”ฌ๐Ÿงซ๐Ÿงฌ๐Ÿ“•๐Ÿ“•


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The scientific material shown in this post was extracted from the scientific book (Streble and Krauter, 1987), the GIFs were taken from the internet and are not my authority!

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I'm not quite sure what I was expecting the water fleas to look like, but I definitely was surprised. Given how much smaller these fleas are than a human, I'm surprised the heart rate is so low (I was expecting thousands), given the fact that the human HR is 60-100/min.

I'll probably forget 90% of what I've read, but its response to temperature is sth I definitely won't. Thanks for the post.

It always happens our brain will only store the most interesting things we read! Thanks for your opinion, I appreciate it a lot!

No problem, man

Bang, I did it again... I just rehived your post!

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Wow, amazing! I am so glad you are sharing this knowledge here and that I discovered you. I greatly enjoyed the images and videos and your elaboration on the anatomy of these little organisms. I followed you and Densifying Nature-Appreciation (which sounds soo wonderful) and will be reading more from you for sure. Thank you!