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Great Lakes Water Life Photo Gallery

Zooplankton - Waterfleas

Cladoceran Field Guide


Key to Great Lakes Cladocera Families



Dichotomous Keys


The following keyis intended for use by amateur microscopists examining samples from the Great Lakes. This key not organized as a standard dichotomous key. Instead, it is designed to allow comparison of all groups at each taxonomic level (e.g., Family, Genus and Species levels). For larger groups, some scrolling may be required to see all descriptions on a page. This key is based on taxonomic and identification information derived from the following sources:

  • Zooplankton of the Great Lakes: A Guide to the Identification and Ecology of the Common Crustacean Species. 1984. Balcer, MD, NL Korda and SI Dodson. University of Wisconsin Press.
  • Freshwater Invertebrates of the United States. Second Edition. 1978. Pennak, RW. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
  • Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA siteA Key to Cladocerans (Crustacea) of British Columbia (includes Great Lakes families except Cercopagidae)


Key to Great Lakes Cladocera Families


Suggestions, References, Links and Photos Welcome! Contact: Rochelle Sturtevant

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Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab, Sea Grant Lakes Network
2205 Commonwealth Blvd
Ann Arbor, MI 48105-2945
Phone: 734-741-2287
Fax: 734-741-2055