University of Tasmania, Australia

UTAS Home | UTAS Staff | UTAS Contacts


UTAS Home > IMAS Home > Image Key > Copepoda > Calanoida > Centropagidae >  Centropages furcatus

Centropages furcatus

Dana (1849)

Download a fact sheet for Centropages furcatus (PDF 595KB)


Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Maxillopoda
Subclass Copepoda
Order Calanoida
Family Centropagidae
Genus Centropages
Species furcatus


  • Female: 1.38 – 1.90 mm
  • Male: 1.40 – 1.75 mm

Distinguishing characteristics

  • Quite transparent
  • P5 form
  • Female: conspicuous central ball like eye


  • A1 geniculate
  • May be quite transparent
  • Posterior prosome somite slightly asymmetrical, left side protrudes further than right
  • Prominent second spines between the lateral spines on the last prosome somite and the urosome
  • Right P5 extension on exopodal segment 2 has a rounded protrusion on the proximal portion; exopodal segment 3 claw is stout and has a spine on the inner margin and 2 spines on outer margin
  • Left P5 exopodal segments 2-3 with long terminal fixed appendages
  • Long and slender caudal rami


  • Conspicuous central ball like eye
  • May be quite transparent
  • Strong spines on segments 1, 2, 5 of A1
  • Prominent second spines between the lateral spines on the last prosome somite and the urosome
  • P5 exopodal segment 2 inner edge spine does not reach distal border of exopodal segment 3
  • No spines on genital somite
  • Anal somite non symmetrical and long, twice the length of urosome somite 2
  • Long and slender caudal rami


  • Epipelagic, coastal, cosmopolitan
  • Most widely distributed species within the genus
  • As far south as subantarctic


  • Cannibalistic feeding has been observed
  • Preys on nauplii of other coastal calanoids
  • Spawns at night
  • Produces resting eggs


Al-Yamani F.Y. & Prusova I., (2003). Common copepoda of the Northwestern Arabian Gulf: Identification Guide. Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research. pp.1-162.

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.

Brodsky K.A., 1962 c. On the fauna and distribution of the Calanoida of surfaces waters in the northern part on the Pacific Ocean. Issled. Dal-nevost. Morei SSSR, 8: 91-116. (Russian).

Checkley et al. (1992)

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.

Daan et al. (1988)

Marcus (1989) 

Razouls C., de Bovée F., Kouwenberg J. et Desreumaux N., 2005-2009. Diversity and Geographic Distribution of Marine Planktonic Copepods. Available at