Common name: a cladoceran
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: This cladoceran has an elongated body and rectangular head. Its swimming antennae do not reach the posterior margin. Antennal setae 4-8/0-1-4. The ventral margin of the valves lacks inflexion, and are armed with several setae and a row of 4–6 spinules between each two setae. One dorsal spine is present near the posterior margin of the valve. The postabdomen has a wide dorsal proximal prominence and three spines on base of claw. Claws are armed with a line of fine denticles (Elías-Gutiérrez et al., 2001). Care should be taken to distinguish this species from similar natives Diaphanosoma birgei and Diaphanosoma brachyurum.
Size: Length: females 0.78-0.92 mm, males 0.65-0.75 mm (Korovchinsky, 1992)
Native Range: South America, Central America, and the Caribbean
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Puerto Rico &
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Diaphanosoma fluviatile are found here.
Table last updated 3/2/2021
† Populations may not be currently present.
Ecology: This species is parthenogenetic, with offspring developing from unfertilized eggs (López et al. 2008). Diaphanosoma fluviatile feeds predominantly on tiny particles (bacteria and detritus) and algal food consisting mainly of green algae (Oocystis), and likely consumes nanoplanktonic algae as well (Cisneros et al. 1991b). Diaphanosoma fluviatile tended to be present in higher numeric proportions during the peak of the rainy season (June-September) in its native habitat (Cisneros et al. 1991a). Fernandes et al. (2012) report the “time to hatchling” of D. fluviatile as 6 days.
This may be a riverine species which is only occassionally flushed into the open waters of the Great Lakes (Personal Communications Hudson 2019).
Means of Introduction: This species most likely arrived in the Great Lakes from the southern US populations as a hitchhiker with recreational boats, gear, bait or ornamentals. Ballast water is also a major vector of other species of North American Diaphanosoma (birgei and brachyurum) (Gray et al., 2007) which are in the same size range as D. fluviatile (Balcer et al., 1984).
Status: Established in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, as well as the Great Lakes region (Lake Erie and Lake Michigan).
Impact of Introduction: Several very similar native species are present in the Great Lakes, suggesting limited potential for dramatic ecosystem disturbances, but this species may compete with native zooplankton for resources (Associated Press, 2018).
References: (click for full references)
Associated Press. 2018. Two new zooplankton species found in Lake Erie. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Created on: August 10, 2018.
Balcer, M. D., N. L. Korda, and S. I. Dodson. 1984. Zooplankton of the Great Lakes: a guide to the identification and ecology of the common crustacean species. Univ of Wisconsin Press.
Brito, S. L., P. M. Maia-Barbosa, and R. M. Pinto-Coelho. 2011. Zooplankton as an indicator of trophic conditions in two large reservoirs in Brazil. Lakes & Reservoirs: Research and Management 16:253-264.
Cisneros, R., E. I. Mangas, and M. Van Maren. 1991a. Qualitative and quantitative structure, diversity and fluctuations in abundance of zooplankton in Lake Xolotlán (Managua). Hydrobiological Bulletin 25(2):151-156.
Cisneros, R., E. Hooker, and L. E. Velasquez. 1991b. Natural diet of herbivorous zooplankton in Lake Xolotlán (Managua). Hydrobiological Bulletin 25(2):163-167.
Debastiani-Júnior, J. R., L. M. Elmoor-Loureiro, and M. G. Nogueira. 2016. Habitat architecture influencing microcrustaceans composition: a case study on freshwater Cladocera (Crustacea Branchiopoda). Brazilian Journal of Biology 76(1):93-100.
Elías-Gutiérrez, M., N. N. Smirnov, E. Suárez-Morales, and N. Dimas-Flores. 2001. New and little known cladocerans (Crustacea: Anomopoda) from southeastern Mexico. Hydrobiologia 442:41-54. 10
Fernandes, A. P. C., L. S. M. Braghin, J. Nedli, F. Palazzo, F. A. Lansac-Tôha, and C. C. Bonecker. 2012. Passive zooplankton community in different environments of a neotropical floodplain. Acta Scientarium 34(4):413-418.
Korovchinsky, N. M. 1992. Sididae & Holopedidae. Guides to the identification of the microinvertebrates of the continental waters of the world 3. SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague, The Netherlands.
López, C., L. M. Soto, L. Dávalos-Lind, and O. Lind. 2008. Occurrence of Diaphanosoma fluviatile Hansen 1899 (Cladocera: Sisidae) in two reservoirs in central Texas. The Southwestern Naturalist 53(3):412-414.
Panarelli, E. A., A. M. Güntzel, and C. N. Borges. 2013. How does the Taquari River influence in the cladoceran assemblages in three oxbow lakes? Brazilian Journal of Biology 73(4):717-725.
Pecorari, S., S. José de Paggi, and J. C. Paggi. 2006. Assesment [sic] of the urbanization effect on a lake by zooplankton. Water Resources 33(6):677-685.
Sanders, S., C. Castiglione, and M. H. Hoff. 2018. Risk Assessment Mapping Program: RAMP. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Lower, E., Daniel, W.M.
Revision Date: 9/12/2019
Peer Review Date: 9/6/2019
Lower, E., Daniel, W.M., 2021, Diaphanosoma fluviatile Hansen, 1899: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2648, Revision Date: 9/12/2019, Peer Review Date: 9/6/2019, Access Date: 3/2/2021
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.