University of Tasmania, Australia

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UTAS Home > IMAS Home > Image Key > Copepoda > Calanoida > Centropagidae >  Gladioferens pectinatus

Gladioferens pectinatus

Brady 1899


Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Maxillopoda
Subclass Copepoda
Order Calanoida
Family Centropagidae
Genus Gladioferans
  • Size: 1.5-1.6 mm.

Distinguishing characteristics

  • Furcal rami approximately 3 times longer than wide.


  • 5th leg has 2 jaw-like projections on the inner edge of the right exopodite at the junction of the 1st and middle sections.


  • Easily recognized by the long spines on the genital segment (difficult to see in images due to egg sac).


  • Reaches greatest abundance in estuaries, though it can be found in inshore coastal waters from Tasmania (Nyan Taw 1975, 1978) and Victoria (Newton 1994), to New Zealand (Jillett 1971).
  • Common and often dominant copepod in estuaries of southern and eastern Australia (Nyan Taw 1978, Newton 1994).
  • Can occur in extremely high densities in estuaries, e.g. 87,000 per cubic metre in Victoria (Newton 1994) and >10, 000 per cubic metre in Tasmania (Nyan Taw and Ritz 1978).
  • Can tolerate a wide range of salinity (almost fresh to full strength seawater), and temperature (~8–26°C) (Newton 1994).
  • Of the common estuarine copepods only Gladioferans pectinatus was present in estuaries under flood conditions, probably as remnant populations clinging to littoral vegetation (Newton 1994). Because of this ability, it seems to be a 'pioneer', i.e. the first to recolonise the estuary following a flood.