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Acartia (Acartiura) tranteri

Bradford (1976)

Download a fact sheet for Acartia (Acatiura) tranteri (PDF 476KB)


Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Maxillopoda
Subclass Copepoda
Order Calanoida
Family Acartiidae
Genus Acartia (Acartiura)
Species tranteri


  • Female: 0.97 – 1.11 mm
  • Male: 0.90 – 1.00 mm

Distinguishing characteristics

  • Spines and fine hairs on end of prosome
  • Form of pereiopod 5


  • Posterior prosome with 3-6 dorsolateral spines
  • Pereiopod 5 small, uniramous and asymmetric
  • Pereiopod 5 left basis with 3 large spines and 1-2 small proximal spines, exopod segment 1 with anterior surface spinules, exopod segment 2-3 with anterior spine shorter than posterior spine, distal border of segment slightly convex
  • Pereiopod 5 right exopod segment 2 with outer edge spines, inner lobe long, proximal part of tip slightly tapering, produced more than distal part
  • Ursosome somites 2-4 with row of dorsoposterior denticles
  • Mean length width ratio of caudal rami 1.66


  • Posterior prosome with 4-7 spines & with fine hairs on ventro-posterior margin
  • Last segment of pereiopod 5 is a modified long slender spine
  • Lateral faces of genital complex with rows of denticles, always extending on to posterior half of somite
  • Length from anterioventral border of genital complex to apex of genital swelling about 0.28 length of genital complex
  • Row of spinules usually on dorsoposterior margin of genital complex & 2nd urosome somite
  • Mean length width ratio of caudal ramus 2.72


  • Epipelagic
  • Estuarine, inshore coastal, coastal and oceanic
  • Australian distribution includes Moreton Bay, Western Port Bay, Swan River estuary, Melbourne, Port Hacking, Sydney and Tasmania
  • World distribution includes Australia, Tasman Sea, New Zealand and New Caledonia


  • Very common in estuaries and nearshore plankton communities
  • Strong tolerance for fluctuations in salinity and temperature
  • Often dominates samples collected from regions with high particulate load
  • Filter-feeder that feeds on both phytoplankton and small zooplankton
  • Known predator of Paraclanus indicus and Gladioferens inermis in Western Port Bay
  • Reproduces year-round, with overlapping generations if sufficient food available
  • Development is nearly constant throughout life
  • Turnover rates from 3 – 30 days


  • Bradford-Grieve, J. M., (1999) The marine fauna of New Zealand: pelagic calanoid copepoda: Bathypontiidae, Arietellidae, Augaptilidae, Heterorhabdidae, Lucicutiidae, Metridinidae, Phyllopodidae, Centropagidae, Pseudodiaptomidae, Temoridae, Candaciidae, Pontellidae, Sulcanidae, Acartiidae, Tortanidae. National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Kimmerer, W. J., McKinnon, A. D., Atkinson, M. J. & Kessell. J. A. 1985. Spatial Distributions of Plankton in Shark Bay, Western Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 36: 421-432.
  • Landry, M. R. 1983. The development of marine calanoid copepods with comment on the isochronal rule. Limnol. Oceanogr. 28: 614-624.
  • Swadling, K. M. and Bayly I. A. E. (1997). Different zooplankton communities in confluent waters: comparisons between three marine bays in Victoria, Australia. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 109: 113-118.
  • McKinnon, A. D., Kimmerer, W. J. and Benzie, J. A. H. (1992). Sympatric sibling species within the genus Acartia (Copepoda : Calanoida): a case study from Westernport and Port Phillip Bays. Journal of Crustacean Biology 12: 239-259.
  • Miller (1997)