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Who is a cyclops: a crayfish, animal or insect

The animal cyclop is a crustacean belonging to the family of copepods. He belongs to the crustaceans, but the structure of the body greatly distinguishes it from other members of this class. Cyclops serves as food for most species of fish and can eat fry itself.

It can be found in almost every freshwater reservoir. Due to the vital activity of these creatures, the water becomes cleaner, brighter and has better quality than the one in which they do not live.

Copeplant from the family of copepods

Often all the crustaceans of this family are called Cyclops, although this is not true. Each individual species has its own unique structure. The largest cyclops reach 4.5 mm in length, although exceptions are encountered, but very rarely.

Usually, the growth of crustaceans is from 0.5 to 2 mm. They are divided into females and males, the sexual characteristics of which are well pronounced and noticeable on closer examination. Their color may vary depending on the food eaten, although the following colors are most common:

  • Gray;
  • red;
  • green.

Cyclops – predatory microorganisms

Despite the tiny size, cyclops are predators. They make an unexpected dash to take the unsuspecting victim by surprise.

If for some reason no one managed to catch it, then the crustaceans feed on algae. Since they themselves are food for the inhabitants of freshwater bodies, it happens that through them, infection of fish and humans with parasites occurs (by eating infected fish).

Most often, crustaceans inhabit the coastal waters of lakes and rivers. Sometimes they can be found in puddles of snow.

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The structure of the Cyclops is very different from the anatomical device of its relatives. He has a very complex head, on which are located:

  • eyes;
  • legs-jaws;
  • mouth apparatus;
  • two pairs of antennas.

One pair of antennas is longer and much better developed than the second. It is with this more developed pair that the crustacean reaches great speed.

It is able to repel it not only from water, but also from the bottom, algae or other objects.

Cyclops have one pair of antennas more developed than the second.

Despite its small size, the cyclops are able to move a long distance – in one second an adult can overcome 75 mm. It is 25 times faster than a submarine sailing at an average speed.

In addition, this pair of antennas performs additional functions, for example, it supports food and can hold the female during mating.

The whole body of this crayfish is segmented. In the chest area there are five, and in the abdominal – 4, at the end the abdomen is divided into two parts.

The legs, thanks to which the cyclops make swimming movements, are located on the chest and are covered with bristles. The remaining 4 pairs of legs perform auxiliary functions.

The crustacean has no heart, organs are washed with a colorless hemolymph. The circulation of this substance is due to intestinal pulsation.

The nervous system is represented by a kind of brain located in the head. The nervous system of the crustacean has no nodes.

There are no lungs, but he breathes with his whole body. In addition, he sees well, although he has only one eye.

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To determine the sex of the crustacean Cyclops, it is enough to consider it under a magnifying glass: females at the end of the body have a small bag. These crustaceans reproduce at high speed, which helps to maintain the population and survive even in small vessels and aquariums.

They are capable of settling a reservoir into which they have fallen for a short time.

Cyclops larvae, which are called nauplii, originate in the very bags at the end of the female’s body, which make it possible to determine the sex of the individual. Egg bags can be a different number – from one to three. The larvae completely grow in them, but differ quite strongly from the adult.

After carrying the offspring (this is usually from 10 to 12 eggs), the female dumps the bags, because they stretch out. Later, new ones grow in her.

Cyclops larvae, which are called nauplii

Under natural conditions, it is quite difficult for fish to catch both larvae and adults, because they are very mobile. For this reason, aquarium fish should be given a very small number of crustaceans, otherwise the non-caught will breed, fill the aquarium and will eat fry themselves.

You can use crustaceans as food for aquarium fish, both frozen and live. They contain all the necessary nutritional elements.

It should be noted that the class of crustaceans Cyclops includes several species. One of them, Calanus, can even live in salty water, it is the main part of plankton.

Cyclops organism can adapt to any climate change. They are able to survive, even completely freezing in the ice: this is due to the fact that under adverse conditions the crustaceans secrete a special substance that envelop their body.

At the same time, an individual becomes like a cocoon, within which all the processes necessary for the maintenance of vital activity take place. The same mechanism allows you to survive if the reservoir is dry.

These creatures can retain their cocoon for several years, but more often than not, this is not necessary.

Cyclops adapt to any temperature conditions.

Another of the amazing properties of cyclops is the ability to survive in an environment unfavorable to other organisms. For example, one of the species, Cyclops strenuus, is able to exist for some time in water with hydrogen sulfide.

Many other species are resistant to acids, alkalis, gases and other substances that are harmful to others.

There are not only crustaceans, but also Cyclops insects. True, they are completely unrelated. Cyclops are called moth and chernushka.

This name is associated with the coloring of their wings – they have spots that look like eyes.

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