This study describes the chydorid (Branchiopoda, Anomopoda) assemblages from 66 European shallow lakes, and presents data relating the assemblages to lake type and ecological quality. Forty species, out of a total recorded European fauna of 60 species, were found in the study sites. No significant differences were found between chydorid assemblages associated with rock and plant substrata. Patterns of distribution were best explained primarily by latitude and pH. Chlorophyll-a, total phosphorus, water temperature and Secchi depth were also correlated with assemblage descriptors. Alonopsis elongata, Alona rectangula, Alonella excisa and Pleuroxus uncinatus were shown to have higher prevalence in certain lake types. The dominance of Chydorus sphaericus in a third of the study sites was linked to eutrophication and high levels of chlorophyll-a. The relationship between chydorids and lake ecological quality was more apparent at species rather than community level. This study identifies important typological factors affecting chydorid distribution, and confirms that patterns of chydorid distribution previously reported from regional studies hold true across Europe.