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Canthocalanus pauper

Giesbrecht (1888)

Download a fact sheet for Canthocalanus pauper (PDF 512KB)


Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Maxillopoda
Subclass Copepoda
Order Calanoida
Family Calanidae
Genus Canthocalanus
Species pauper


  • Female: 1.30 – 1.60 mm
  • Male: 1.30 – 1.50 mm

Distinguishing characteristics

  • Female: distinctive, prehensile spine on P1
  • Male: P5 form


  • Right P5 asymmetrical, exopod with no inner marginal spines, left endopod two terminal setae, left exopodite with elongated segments with long outer distal setae on segments 2 and 3


  • Similar to Nannocalanus minor but urosome not as indented into prosome
  • Anterior cephalosome and posterior prosome rounded, last prosome somite may be slightly asymmetrical
  • P1 basis has a distinctive weakly prehensile spine on anterior, short extension at its base appears as a notch
  • Strong setae on caudal rami


  • Epipelagic, coastal
  • Indian and Pacific, but presence in Atlantic needs confirmation
  • Tropical, subtropical
  • Common in Kuroshio Current


  • Prefers salinity < 33
  • Undertakes normal diel vertical migration
  • Common intermediate host for parasitic isopods


  • 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.
  • Chen Q.-c. & Zhang S.-z, 1965. - The planktonic copepods of the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea. I. Calanoida. Studia mar. sin., 7: 20-131. (Chinese with English summary).
  • Conway DVP, White, R.G., Hugues-Dit-Ciles, J., Gallienne, C.P. and Robins, D.B. (2003) Guide to the coastal and surface zooplankton of the south-western Indian Ocean, Vol Occasional Publications No. 15. Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.
  • Bradford J. & Jillett J.B., 1974. - A revision of generic definitions in the Calanidae (Copepoda, Calanoida). Crustaceana, 27 (1): 5-16.Lan et al. (2004)
  • Lo et al. (2004)
  • Xu & Gao (2011)
  • Greenwood, J. G. (1976). "Calanoid copepods of Moreton Bay (Queensland). 1. Families Calanidae, Eucalanidae, and Paracalanidae." Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 87: 1-28.
  • Owens, L. Rothlisberg, P.C. 1991. Vertical migration and advection of bopyrid isopod cryptoniscid larvae in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, Journal of plankton research, 13:4:279
  • Razouls C., de Bovée F., Kouwenberg J. et Desreumaux N., 2005-2009. - Diversity and Geographic Distribution of Marine Planktonic Copepods. Available at