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Calanus australis

Calanus australis Brodsky, 1959

Download a fact sheet for Calanus australis (PDF 549KB)


Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Maxillopoda
Subclass Copepoda
Order Calanoida
Family Calanidae
Genus Calanus
Species australis


  • Male: 2.50-3.30 mm
  • Female: 2.70-3.20 mm

Distinguishing characteristics

  • Cephalosome and first pedigerous somite partly fused
  • A1 exceeds the body length by a few segments
  • Pereiopods without modification or ornamentation
  • P5 inner margin of coxa serrated (toothed) in both sexes
  • P5 endopods have 8 setae, in male both caudal rami 3- segmented


  • P5's are of unequal length, right P5 1.5 - 1.6x shorter than left P5
  • Right P5 exopod extends more than half way along left exopod segment 2
  • Left P5 endopod extends only slightly beyond segment 1 of the left P5 exopod


  • A1 just reaches the tip of the caudal rami
  • P5 serrations convex, with 15-22 triangular teeth
  • Terminal spine of P5 right exopod segment 3 is shorter than the segment
  • Similar to Calanus agulhensis
  • Differs from Nannocalanus minor in that N. minor is smaller, has a 5-segmented prosome and has a more indented prosome over the first urosome somite

(Bradford-Grieve 1994 & 1999, Taw 1978)


  • Epipelagic
  • Inshore, coastal and oceanic waters of southeastern Australia and New Zealand


  • Often dominates copepod biomass in nearshore, temperate waters
  • Maximum abundance occurs in summer, with copepodite stage C5 outnumbering adults (Taw and Ritz 1979)
  • Undergoes diel vertical migration
  • Prefers seasonally stratified coastal waters (Sabatini et al. 2000)
  • Abundance declines as stratification weakens
  • Summer breeding coincides with phytoplankton blooms
  • Copepodite stage C5 often carries large lipid stores


  • Bradford-Grieve, J. M. (1994). The marine fauna of New Zealand: Pelagic Copepoda: Megacalanidae, Calanidae, Paracalanidae, Mecynoceridae, Eucalanidae, Spinocalanidae, Clausocalanidae. National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Bradford-Grieve, J. M., E. L. Markhaseva, et al. (1999). Copepoda. South Atlantic Zooplankton. D. Boltovskoy. Leiden, The Netherlands, Backhuys Publishers. 1: 869-1098.
  • Sabatini, M.E., Ramirez, F.C. and Martos, P. (2000). Distribution pattern and population structure of Calanus australis Brodsky, 1959 over the southern Patagonian Shelf off Argentina in summer. ICES Journal of Marine Science 57: 1856-1866.
  • Taw, N. (1978). Some common components of the zooplankton of the southeastern coastal waters of Tasmania. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 112: 69-136.
  • Taw, N. & Ritz, D. 1979. Influence of Subantartic and Subtropical Oceanic Water on the Zooplankton and Hydrology of Waters Adjacent to the Derwent River Estuary, South-eastern Tasmania. Marine and Freshwater Research, 30, 179-202.