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Centropages gracilis

Dana (1849)

Download a fact sheet for Centropages gracilis (PDF 480KB)


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


  • Female: 1.85 – 2.00 mm
  • Male: 1.80 – 2.04 mm

Distinguishing characteristics

  • P5 form
  • Female: Urosome somite 2 has lateral knobs covered in small spines (flower like)


  • Posterior corners of prosome rounded
  • Right P5 terminal claw is longer than the appendage on exopod 2 (thumb) and has a pronounced triangular protrusion, absent in other species in the genus


  • Lateral angles of the last prosome somite are rounded
  • A1 extends beyond caudal rami by last 5 segments
  • Inner marginal spine on exopodite segment 2 of P5 does not reach the end of segment 3
  • Genital somite with naked lateral borders
  • Caudal rami are symmetrical


  • Epipelagic
  • Coastal and offshore
  • Tropical
  • Indian, Pacific and Atlantic


  • Little is known about the ecology of this species


  • Boxshall, G. A. and S. H. Halsey (2004). "An introduction to copepod diversity." Ray Society Publications 166: i-xv, 1-966.
  • 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., (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).
  • 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.
  • Grice G.D., (1961) 1962. Calanoid copepods from equatorial waters of the Pacific Ocean. Fishery Bull. Fish Wildl. Serv. U.S., 61 (186): 167-246.
  • Mori T., (1937) 1964. The pelagic Copepoda from the neighbouring waters of Japan. Second edition edited by S. Shirai.,
  • Razouls C., de Bovée F., Kouwenberg J. et Desreumaux N., 2005-2009. Diversity and Geographic Distribution of Marine Planktonic Copepods. Available at