Crustacea, the Higher Taxa

J.K. Lowry


Cladocera (Branchiopoda)

Common name. Water Fleas.

Description. Head. Rostrum present or absent; eyes sessile; compound, visual elements present; ocular scale absent; naupliar eyes present, or naupliar eyes absent. Antennules (antenna 1) uniramous; peduncle and flagellum indistinguishable; exopod well developed, whip-like. Antennae (antenna 2) biramous; exopod multiarticulate. Mandible uniramous; palp absent. Maxillipeds, absent. Thorax. Carapace present, univalved, enclosing head, body and appendages or enclosing trunk and appendages, laterally compressed, smooth, with antennal rostral incisure or without antennal rostral incisure. Thorax and abdomen undifferentiated, with 4-6 pairs of appendages; biramous; peraeopods (legs) phyllopodous. Uropods well developed, 1 pair, positioned terminally or subterminally; rami absent; claw-like, or whip-like. Telson absent.

Larval development. Epimorphic. Embryos carried dorsally within the carapace (check).

Habitat. Mainly fresh or brackish water, occasionally marine.

Distribution. Worldwide.

Cite this publication as: Lowry, J.K. (1999 onwards). 'Crustacea, the Higher Taxa: Description, Identification, and Information Retrieval.' Version: 2 October 1999. http://crustacea.net/.