Bythotrephes longimanus - Spiny Water Flea/Spiny Tailed Water Flea

 

Information Last Reviewed Spring 2007

 

The spiny water flea is a tiny, predacious crustacean that competes with young perch and other small fish for prey, such as Daphnia spp. Significant adverse impacts have yet to be documented; however, the spiny water flea can be consumed only by larger predators due to the flea’s sharp spine. With this in mind, spiny water flea populations may remain high, leading to a decline in plankton populations, and thus altering food webs.

 

Taxonomy

General Biology

Identification

Life Cycle

Habitat Characteristics

Distribution

Impacts

Management

Literature

Web Sites

 

 

 

 

Taxonomy

 

Phylum: Arthropoda

Subphylum:  Crustacea

Class: Branchiopoda

Order: Onychopoda

Family: Cercopagida

 

This species was previously known as Bythotrephes cederstroemi.

 

image\blongimanus_1.jpg

Hooks on caudal appendage distinguishes the spiny waterflea from similar species

(Image from: http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3313_3677_8314-83004--,00.html)

 

 

 

General Biology

 

Behavior

 

Diet

Juveniles

 

Adults

 

 

 

 

Identification

 

Juvenile Morphology

 

Adult Morphology

 

image\blongimanus_2.jpg

Spiny waterflea collected on fishing line to form "cotton ball" appearance

(Image courtesy of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources)

 

Distinguishing Characteristics

 

 

 

 

Life Cycle

 

Maturity

 

Reproduction

 

Eggs

 

Juveniles

 

 

 

 

Habitat Characteristics

 

Preferred Environment

 

Temperature

 

Salinity

 

Water Quality

 

 

 

 

Distribution

 

Native Range

 

North American Distribution

Established:

 

Probable Means of Introduction

 

 

 

 

Impacts

 

Negative

 

Positive

 

 

 

 

Management

 

Control Measures

 

 

 

 

Literature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Literature

 

Berg, D. J., and D. W. Garton. 1994. Genetic differentiation in North American and European populations of the cladoceran Bythotrephes. Limnol. Oceanogr. 39: 1503-1516.

 

Berg, D.J., D.W. Garton, H.J. MacIsaac, V.E. Panov, and I.V. Telesh. 2002. Changes in genetic structure of North American Bythotrephes populations following invasion from Lake Ladoga, Russia. Freshwater Biology 47: 275-282.

 

Branstrator, D.K. 1995. Ecological interactions between Bythotrephes cederstroemi and Leptodora kindtii and the implications for species replacement in Lake Michigan. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 21: 670-679.

 

Brown, M.E., and D.K. Branstrator. 2004. A 2001 survey of crustacean zooplankton in the western arm of Lake Superior. Journal of Great Lakes Research 30: 1-8.

 

Bur M.T. and D.M. Klarer. 1991. Prey selection for the exotic cladoceran Bythotrephes cederstroemi by selected Lake Erie fishes. Journal of Great Lakes Research 17: 85-93.

 

Carlton, J.T. and J.B. Geller. 1993. Ecological roulette: The global transport of nonindigenous marine organisms. Science 261: 73-82.

 

Case, T.J. 1991. Invasion resistance, species build-up and community collapse in metapopulation models with interspecies competition. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 42: 239-266.

 

Coulas, R.A., H.J. MacIssac and W. Dunlop. 1998. Selective predation on an introduced zooplankter (Bythotrephes cederstroemi) by lake herring (Coregonus artedii) in Harp Lake, Ontario. Freshwater Biology 40: 343-355.

 

Lehman, J.T. and D.K. Branstrator 1995. A model for growth, development, and diet selection by the invertebrate predator Bythotrephes cederstroemi. Journal of Great Lakes Research 21: 610-619.

 

Mills, E.L., J.H.Leach, J.T. Carlton and C.L. Secor. 1993. Exotic species in the Great Lakes: A history of biotic crisis and anthropogenic introductions. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 19: 1-57.

 

Mills ,E.L., R. O'Gorman, J. DeGisi, R.F. Heberger and R.A. House. 1992. Food of the alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) in Lake Ontario before and after the establishment of Bythotrephes cederstroemi. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 49: 2009-2019.

 

Nilsson, N.A. 1961. The effect of water-level fluctuations on the feeding habits of trout and char in Lakes Blasjon and Jormsjon, North Sweden. Reports of the Institute of Freshwater Research Drottningholm. 42:238-261.

 

Straile, D., and A. Halbich. 2000. Life history and multiple antipredator defenses of an invertebrate pelagic predator, Bythotrephes longimanus. Ecology 81: 150-163.

 

 

 

 

 

Web Sites

 

http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?fr=1&si=151&sts

 

http://www.great-lakes.net/envt/flora-fauna/invasive/spinyflea.html

 

http://www.iisgcp.org/exoticsp/spiny_water_flea.htm

 

http://www.protectyourwaters.net/hitchhikers/crustaceans_spiny_water_flea.php