1. Water fleas of the genus Daphnia are considered rare in tropical regions, and information on species distribution and community ecology is scarce and anecdotal. This study presents the results of a survey of Daphnia species distribution and community composition in 40 standing waterbodies in southern Kenya. The study sites cover a wide range of tropical standing aquatic habitats, from small ephemeral pools to large permanent lakes between approximately 700 and 2800 m a.s.l. Our analysis combines data on Daphnia distribution and abundance from zooplankton samples and dormant eggs in surface sediments.