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Zooplankton

Copepods

  

Skistodiaptomus reighardi.  Photo Courtesy of USGS/GLSC.  Link to Calanoid Copepod section.

Calanoid

Eucyclops prionophorus.  Photo Courtesy of USGS.  Link to Cyclopoid copepod section.

Cyclopoid

Nitokra hibernica.  Photo courtesy of USGS.  Link to Harpacticoid copepod section.

Harpacticoid

Eucyclopsagilis.  Photo courtesy of Bioimages UK.

Nauplii

Juvenile copepods (nauplii) look quite different from the adults.

Order Eucopepoda - Oarsmen

More than 33 species of copepods call the Great Lakes home, however, in most of the open water regions of the Great Lakes only one or two species of calanoids and a single cyclopoid generally dominate. A greater variety of species are typically found in the littoral and benthic habitats, with harpacticoids being more common than cyclopoids in these areas.

Some copepods are strong swimmers. Vertical migration (daily movements up and down in the water column in response to food abundance, predators or other environmental cues) is common, particularly for the calanoids.

Copepods reproduce sexually, with females able to store sperm internally for later release with eggs. Eggs are usually brooded by the female in a sac or sacs attached to the genital segment (joining body and tail). Several clutches may be fertilized from a single mating. Copepod eggs hatch into small active larvae known as nauplii. Copepod nauplii molt as they grow, though six naupliar stages, each larger, more elongated and with more legs than the previous stage. The naupliar stages are followed by juvenile copepodid stages in which the young resemble adults but may lack some of the swimming legs. Juveniles continue to mature and molt until the sexually active adult stage is reached. Some species mature rapidly and can produce several generations per year, others require up to a full year to mature to the adult form.

Copepods are able to survive unfavorable conditions (e.g., winter) by entering diapause, a resting state similar to hibernation. Copepods in diapause are usually found on the lake bottom.

See:

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Free-living and Parasitic Copepods (Including Branchiurans) of the Laurentian Great Lakes - USGS/Great Lakes Science Center

This includes taxonomic keys to group and species, profiles, photos of all species, distribution, life histories, ecology, and pretty much anything else you could possibly want!

See Also:
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Profile - Museum of Victoria
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Biology of Copepods - University Oldenburg
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Introduction to Copepods - The Copepod Web Portal
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Line drawings of nauplii, copepodid and adult copepods
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Annotated Checklist of the Free-Living Copepods of the Great Lakes - JGLR
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Identification of Nauplii N1-N6 and Copepodids CI-CVI of the Great Lakes Calanoid and Cyclopoid Copepods by
Czaika, Sharon C. - JGLR

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Copepod Neuroecology - University of Hawaii
Tumor-like abnormalities in Great Lakes Copepods

Suborder Calanoida

Once considered filter feeders, more recent studies of calanoid behavior indicate that most species generate feeding currents with their legs, bringing prey to them, and then use highly sensitive mechanoreceptors on their antennae to isolate appropriate prey within the feeding stream. They are omnivores which prefer active prey, but also consume algae and other organic particles. They appear capable of distinguishing prey types, concentrating on those which are large (but not too large to eat), and ignoring those which are too fast to catch or too hard (shelled) to process efficiently. Larger species are more carnivorous and more likely to pursue prey (cruise feeders) rather than simply waiting for it to arrive in a feeding current.

Eggs are released to sink or held in a single egg sac.

Calanoid copepods have been reported to be a food source for cyclopoid copepods, for chironomid insect larvae, Chaoborus sp. and for juvenile fish.

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Free-living and Parasitic Copepods (Including Branchiurans) of the Laurentian Great Lakes - USGS/Great Lakes Science Center
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Annotated Checklist of the Free-Living Copepods of the Great Lakes - JGLR
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Zooplankton of the Great Lakes Central Michigan University - Profiles and photos for Eurytemora affinis and Limnocalanus macrurus.
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.An Introduction and Key to the Freshwater Calanoid Copepods of British Columbia
- Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Annotated line drawings
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Southwest Missouri State University Zooplankton Project - Photos of Eurytemora affinis, Skistodiaptomus pallidus and Skistodiaptomus reighardi

Suborder Cyclopoida

Raptorial feeders with mouthparts modified for grasping and chewing. Most cyclopoids are carnivores with distinct food preferences.

Eggs are carried by the female in two egg sacs.

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Free-living and Parasitic Copepods (Including Branchiurans) of the Laurentian Great Lakes - USGS/Great Lakes Science Center
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Annotated Checklist of the Free-Living Copepods of the Great Lakes - JGLR
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Southwest Missouri State University Zooplankton Project - Photos of Mesocyclops edax and Tropocyclops prasinus mexicanus
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.BioImages: The Virtual Field Guide (UK) - Photos of Acanthocylops vernalis, Eucyclops agilis and Tropocyclops prasinus mexicanus
-
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Line drawings of adult male and female (a-b)
- Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Animated gif of 'hopping' male - Research Strickler Lab

Suborder Harpacticoida

Great Lakes harpacticoid copepods have not been well studied. Predominantly benthic feeding on detritus. Two egg sacs.

Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Free-living and Parasitic Copepods (Including Branchiurans) of the Laurentian Great Lakes - USGS/Great Lakes Science Center
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Annotated Checklist of the Free-Living Copepods of the Great Lakes - JGLR
Globe icon indicates link to a non-NOAA site.Scientific Abstract - Invading Species Dominate the Harpacticoid Fauna in Nearshore Sands of Southern Lake Michigan. T.G.Horvath, E.J.Oberdick, L.L.Last, and R.L.Whitman. U.S. Geological Survey.

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