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Diet studies of age-0 freshwater drum have been limited to lakes and reservoirs, where they have been described as consuming cladocerans
, chironomid larvae, mayfly larvae, and occasionally larvae of other fishes (Swedburg and Walburg, 1970; Clark and Pearson, 1979; Bur, 1982).
Among the most common microscopic animals on the bluegill's menu are Daphnia, a type of Cladoceran
(larger zooplankton often called water fleas) that can grow to several millimeters and swim in small hopping motions.