Microcystins (MCs) have a toxic effect on crustacean zooplankton in the laboratory, but there is little or no unequivocal evidence in the literature of their lethal effects on crustacean zooplankton in the field. We used the natural microcystins extracted from Microcystis spp. to test if they could cause any negative effects on crustacean zooplankton. We conducted three experiments in enclosures with water from Lake Taihu, China, and microcystins derived by extraction from Microcystis spp. collected from the lake when the species was in bloom conditions. Initial concentrations of extracellular microcystins (EMCs = MC-RR + MC-LR + MC-YR) ranged from 9.7 to 44.9 μg/L in treatments with microcystin addition. Microcystin concentrations sharply decreased on second day in all the three experiments. EMCs at the end of the experiments varied from only 2.7 to 14.2 % of the levels at the start of the experiments. The dominant species of crustacean zooplankton in the lake were Bosmina longirotris, Ceriodaphnia cornuta, Mesocyclops spp., Limnoithona sinensis, Sinocalanus dorrii and Schmackeria inopinus. ANOVA analysis showed that the density and biomass of cladoceran and copepod did not significantly differ between treatments with microcystin addition and controls. Our results indicate that microcystins derived from lysing Microcystis do not cause any negative effects on crustacean zooplankton.