The frequent use of neutral markers to quantify genetic variation in natural populations emphasizes the role of stochastic events in explaining genetic differentiation between populations. Complementary studies on ecologically relevant traits are needed to assess the role of natural selection acting on adaptive variation in the development of local genetic differentiation. To test the hypothesis of local adaptation in the cyclical parthenogenetic species Daphnia magna, the phototactic behavior in the absence and presence of fish kairomone was assayed for 30 clones derived from resting eggs isolated from three habitats characterized by a different predation pressure by fish. Clones derived from populations in which fish are present were, on average, more negatively phototactic in and more responsive to the presence of fish kairomone than clones derived from a fishless habitat. In addition, the results show a high genetic diversity for the traits studied in all three gene pools investigated, indicating a high potential for microevolutionary changes in behavior of these Daphnia populations in the face of changes in predation pressure. The results of the present study indicate that working with large samples at the expense of having less precise estimates of genotypic values for specific genotypes may result in a loss of information with regard to the evolutionary potential of local populations.