, Volume 595, Issue 1, pp 101–106 | Cite as

Global diversity of tardigrades (Tardigrada) in freshwater

  • James R. Garey
  • Sandra J. McInnes
  • P. Brent Nichols


Tardigrada is a phylum closely allied with the arthropods. They are usually less than 0.5 mm in length, have four pairs of lobe-like legs and are either carnivorous or feed on plant material. Most of the 900+ described tardigrade species are limnoterrestrial and live in the thin film of water on the surface of moss, lichens, algae, and other plants and depend on water to remain active and complete their life cycle. In this review of 910 tardigrade species, only 62 species representing13 genera are truly aquatic and not found in limnoterrestrial habitats although many other genera contain limnoterrestrial species occasionally found in freshwater.


Tardigrada Biogeography Phylogeny Distribution Diversity 

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • James R. Garey
    • 1
  • Sandra J. McInnes
    • 2
  • P. Brent Nichols
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular BiologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research CouncilCambridgeUK

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