The Daphnia pulex is a free-living aquatic organism which lives in freshwater environments.  In fact, it is the most common water flea and can be found in almost every permanent, nutrient-rich fresh body of water surrounded by numerous other freshwater organisms and plants. The highest concentrations of Daphnia are found in the vegetation of most lakes and ponds. Although the Daphnia genus can be found in basically any freshwater body of water, D. pulex specifically resides to temporary and permanent ponds, small lakes, and even rock pools. The organism occupies deeper water during the day, rising at night.

This is an example of a rockpool in Finland, one of the many habitats of Daphnia pulex.

Daphnia pulex is too small and weak to live in a body of water with strong current. They have to be able to stay suspended by using their legs and antennae so they usually live in a water column. They will often move up and down this column at certain times of the day due to predators or during certain seasons to adapt to the different conditions.

Genus Daphnia occupies habitats all around the world excluding some extreme conditions such as hot springs. More specifically, Daphnia pulex is usually found in North and South American, Europe, and Australia. 

D. pulex is the most common species of Daphnia. They play a very important role in the food web by maintaining levels of algae and bacteria and also providing a food source for many fish. Daphnia pulex share their habitat with many other  aquatic animalia, fungi, bacteria, and protists as long as it is in fresh water.


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