The lifecycle

In spring cladoceran populations consist of only parthenogenetic females which hatched from resting eggs or were released from parthenogenetic females surviving over the winter. As spring temperatures increase the parthenogenetic females become reproductively active. Parthenogenesis allows a rapid increase in population size over a short period of time when environmental conditions are favourable.

Males are found only found in early summer if the water body is seasonal but more commonly they are recorded in autumn. After mating a fertilised resting egg is produced and enclosed in an ephippium by the ephippial female where it can survives desiccation and freezing.