Leptodora kindtii is spectacular, and by look, it does not resemble any other of the cladocerans. It is a true limnetic predator being hyaline, and if it had not been for its eye, the species would have been almost undetectable.
Leptodora kindtii is spectacular, and by look it does not resemble any other of the cladocerans. In contrast to most other cladocerans, its carapace does only cover the egg sacks, while the rest of the body is free. Its body is long and slender with a comparatively small head with a compound eye situated anteriorly. The antennae are large, equipped with long setae used for moving. The 1. pair of legs are extremely large, especially their first segment. According to G.O. Sars it is the remarkable structure of the alimentary canal, which distinguishes this species from other cladocerans. L. kindtii is hyaline and if it had not been for its eye, the species would have been almost undetectable.
Female: Length max 18 mm
Male: Length 6.5–9.0 mm
Ecology and distribution
L. kindtii is a true limnetic predator, and recorded from 8% of the lakes where zooplankton is sampled. It is not found in ponds. When surface area is >100 ha, it is found with a frequency of about 20 %. L. kindtii is rare above 500 m a.s.l. and it has never been recorded above 1000 m a.s.l. It is used as an indicator of recovery from acidification, and is occasionally found when pH<5.5. Conductivity seems to mean less for this species.
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