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Neocalanus gracilis

Dana (1849)

Dowmload a fact sheet for Neocalanus gracilis (PDF 469KB)


Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Maxillopoda
Subclass Copepoda
Order Calanoida
Family Calanidae
Genus Neocalanus
Species gracilis


  • Female: 2.4 - 4.0 mm
  • Male: 2.3 - 3.1 mm

Distinguishing characteristics

  • P2 in both sexes with a recurved spine at the outer distal border or exopodite segment 1
  • Coxa of P5 inner border without serrations in both sexes
  • Basis of P1 with large spine at base of inner setae in female


  • Cephalosome and pedigerous somite 1 fused
  • P5 distal expopod segment with setae on the inner border


  • Cephalosome and pedigerous somite 1 fused
  • P1 terminal exopod setae with a proximally truncate external blade
  • P1 to 5 all similar


  • Epi-, meso- and bathypelagic
  • Cosmopolitan in temperate, subtropical and tropical water


  • Fine particle feeders, probably omnivorous
  • Reproduction might occur at mesopelagic depths
  • Multiple generations per year


  • Bradford-Grieve, J. M., E. L. Markhaseva, et al. (1999). Copepoda. South Atlantic Zooplankton. D. Boltovskoy. Leiden, The Netherlands, Backhuys Publishers. 1: 869-1098.
  • 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.
  • Boxshall, G. A. and S. H. Halsey (2004). "An introduction to copepod diversity." Ray Society Publications 166: i-xv, 1-966.
  • Bradford J.M., 1972. - Systematics and ecology of New Zealand Central East coast plankton sampled at Kaikoura. Mem. N.Z. oceanogr. Inst. ( = Bull. N.Z. Dep. scient. ind. Res., 207), 54: 1-87.
  • Brady G.S., 1883. - Report on the Copepoda collected by H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873-76. Rep. scient. Results Voy. Challenger, Zool., 8 (23): 1-142.
  • 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).
  • Corral Estrada J., 1970. - Contribucion al conocimiento del plancton de Canarias. Estudio cuantitativo, sistematico y observaciones ecologicas de nos Copépodos epipelagicos en la zona de Santa Cruz de Tenerife en el curso de un ciclo anual. Publnes Fac. Cienc. Madrid, Seccion de Biol., (A) 129: 1-280.
  • Giesbrecht W., 1893 ["1892"]. - Systematik und Faunistik der pelagischen Copepoden des Golfes von Neapel und der angrenzenden Meeres- Abschnitte. Fauna u. Flora Golf. Neapel, 19: 1-831, pls. 1-54.
  • Razouls C., de Bovée F., Kouwenberg J. et Desreumaux N., 2005-2009. - Diversity and Geographic Distribution of Marine Planktonic Copepods. Available at
  • Shmeleva & Kovalev (1974)