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 (no͞o′stŏn, nyo͞o′-)
The collection of microscopic and small organisms that inhabit the region on or just below the surface of a body of water.

[Greek neuston, neuter of neustos, swimming, from nein, to swim; see (s)nāu- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Zoology) organisms, similar to plankton, that float on the surface film of open water
2. (Zoology) 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]
neusˈtonic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈnu stɒn, ˈnyu-)

the aggregate of minute aquatic organisms that float or swim in the surface film of a body of water.
[1925–30; < German (1917) < Greek, n. use of neuter of neustós swimming, verbal adj. of neîn to swim]
neus′tic, neus•ton′ic, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Though the mission will use hi-tech submersibles in its work, research began on Thursday with more modest equipment: a device to measure the water's chemistry and a Neuston net used to retrieve zooplankton.
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In the neuston, especially in coastal waters, members of the Microsetella genus are numerically dominant and highly abundant (Anraku, 1975; Dugas & Koslow, 1984; Uye et al., 2002; Zaitsev, 2005).
Prey use of the fishing spider Dolomedes triton (Pisauridae, Araneae): an important predator of the neuston community.
Interestingly, the nares are submerged during normal swimming but are held just above the surface of the water during the most common feeding mode, active surface suction feeding (Motta et al., 2010), so it is possible that whale sharks can respond to chemical cues both in solution and volatilized in the boundary layer of air above the neuston.
48 neuston samples, described in this paper, were collected along a single transect from Robinson Crusoe Island to Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific Ocean, shown in Fig.