A Water Flea Close-Up

By Ken “Creekman” Davis

Water Flea Close-Up

Water fleas are amazing little creatures that have body parts analogous to larger animals. You can see her compound eye, a small brain right behind the eye, her intestine, six eggs and her heart which is the dark structure just in front of the eggs. They are considered the primary hub between the lower aquatic food web and larger animals such as fish.

Water Flea Close-Up


Note the beating heat, her eye, and muscles attached at the top of her head. They contract when she moves her legs, which are actually antennae.


Note the compound eye, the muscles that contract with her legs, and blood cells moving through her carapace.


Water fleas can have up to 200 heat beats per minute. They have an open circulation system that pumps blood cells throughout her carapace.


A “flock” of water fleas. Note several that have regular eggs, resting eggs and ephippia (the large dark structure in their brood chamber).

Ken W. “Creekman” DavisKen W. “Creekman” Davis is an aquatic biologist and wildlife photojournalist with more than 30-years experience. His images have been published in more than 4000 different periodicals, newsletters, brochures, encyclopedias and websites.