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Labidocera cervi

Labidocera cervi Krämer,1895

Download a fact sheet for Labidocera cervi (PDF 447KB)


Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Maxillopoda
Subclass Copepoda
Order Calanoida
Family Pontellidae


  • Male: 2.75-3.15 mm
  • Female: 2.80-3.48 mm

Distinguishing characteristics

  • Cephalosome and 1st pedigerous somite separate
  • Right A1 geniculate in male
  • Rostrum deeply bifurcate
  • Cephalosome with or without anterolateral hooks
  • 1 pair of cuticular lenses
  • Ventral eye extends anterioventrally between a deeply bifurcate rostrum
  • Posterior of prosome with large pointed processes
  • Female urosome 2-3 segmented; male 4-5 segmented
  • Genital somite and caudal rami may be asymmetric in female, symmetric in male
  • Female P5 biramous , each rami 1-segmented
  • Male P5 uniramous with a chela , left P5 may have a rudimentary endopod


  • Anterior cephalosome rounded
  • Right A1 geniculate
  • Posterior prosome symmetrical
  • Right P5 with a long thumb on the claw, which is set at an obtuse angle to the rest of the segment
  • Urosome 4-5 segmented


  • Prosome with asymmetrical corners, larger on the right side
  • Urosome asymmetrical, 2-3 segmented
  • Genital somite swollen ventrally, more than 2x as long as wide; a rounded projection ventrally shows on left
  • Posteriolateral knob on the right side of genital somite
  • P5 has 3 small terminal spines and 2 outer edge spines on the exopod ; endopod spiniform

(Taw 1978, Bradford 1999)


  • Epipelagic
  • Restricted distribution: south eastern Australia and New Zealand


  • Bright blue in colour when alive
  • Occupies surface layers during the day when colouration protects it from predators
  • Possibly neustonic
  • Broadcast spawner
  • Eggs can undergo diapause during unfavourable conditions
  • Predator; feeding primarily on small copepods


  • 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.
  • Taw, N. (1978). Some common components of the zooplankton of the southeastern coastal waters of Tasmania. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 112: 69-136.