neuston

[noo-ston, nyoo-]
noun
the aggregate of minute aquatic organisms that float or swim in the surface film of a body of water.

Origin:
1925–30; < German; noun use of neuter of Greek neustós swimming, verbid of neîn to swim

neustic, neustonic [noo-ston-ik, nyoo-] , adjective
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neuston (ˈnjuːstən)
 
n
1.  organisms, similar to plankton, that float on the surface film of open water
2.  the ecosystem of the surface film of open water in which such organisms as copepods graze on tiny flagellates, bacteria, etc
 
[C20: via German from Greek neustos swimming, from nein to swim]
 
neus'tonic
 
adj

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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

neuston

group of organisms found on top of or attached to the underside of the surface film of water. The neuston includes insects such as whirligig beetles and water striders, some spiders and protozoans, and occasional worms, snails, insect larvae, and hydras. It is distinguished from the plankton, which only incidentally becomes associated with the surface film

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Neuston net tows for larval fish will likely be added to the routine as
  equipment becomes available.
We also took plankton and neuston samples at each station, using bongo nets to
  sample at mid- to lower-water depths.
These included both neuston tows and vertical net tows.
Benthic invertebrates were collected with sediment corers and drift
  invertebrates were collected with neuston nets.
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