Pond Life Identification Sheet

Pond Life by Golden Guide

Pond water is teeming with a diverse array of microscopic organisms, making it a fascinating subject for observation under a microscope. Here are some of the organisms commonly found in pond water that can be viewed with a microscope:

Protozoa: These single-celled organisms are abundant in pond water and exhibit various shapes and behaviors. Examples include:

Algae: Algae are diverse photosynthetic organisms that can be found in various shapes, sizes, and colors. They include:

Rotifers: These tiny, multicellular animals are commonly found in pond water. They have a wheel-like structure called a corona, which they use for feeding and locomotion.

Ciliates: Ciliates are a group of protozoans characterized by the presence of cilia, which they use for locomotion and feeding. Examples include various species of Vorticella and Stentor.

Crustaceans: Small crustaceans such as copepods and water fleas (Daphnia) are often present in pond water. These organisms are typically transparent and exhibit rapid movements.

Nematodes: Microscopic roundworms, or nematodes, are commonly found in pond water. They are often observed moving in a wriggling motion.

Insects & Arthropods

caddisfly caddisflyCaddisfly larvae


nymphdragonfly nymphbeetlediving beetle beetle diving beetle larvae

nymph mayfly nymphboatmanwater boatman


cricketwater cricketscorpionwater scorpion whirlygigwhirlygig beetle

Protozoans and Small Animals






rotiferrotiferRotifers waterbearWaterbear (tardigrade)

nematodeNematode flatwormPlanarian

cyclopscyclops shrimpwater shrimpwaterfleawater flea (Daphnia)

Algae and Other Microorganisms

volvoxVolvox (green) dinoflagellatedinoflagellate (red, green, some multicolored)

desmids Desmids (green)spirogyraSpirogyra (green)

Anything green and stringy can be classified as an algae!!!

Resources on Pond Life

Investigation: What Organisms Are Found in Ponds?

What Factors Affect the Heart Rate of Daphnia

Mic-UK - Pond Life Identification

Pond Pack (rbkc.gov.uk)

Nikon Microscopy

Related Documents: Image Credits: Images were compiled from scans, public domain work and clipartETC