University of Tasmania, Australia

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UTAS Home > IMAS Home > Image Key > Copepoda > Calanoida > Pontellidae >  Pontella novaezelanidae

Pontella novaezelanidae

Farran 1929


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


  • Male: 4.90-5.40 mm.
  • Female: 5.95-6.20 mm.

Distinguishing characteristics

  • One of the largest species of copepod recorded from south-east Australian waters, exceeding 6 mm.
  • Bright blue (like Labidocera cervi) (Farran 1929, Bradford-Grieve 1999).


  • Head terminated by a small crest ending in a blunt tooth.
  • Head bears 1 pair of dorsal lenses.
  • Rostrum has a well-developed lens.


  • Slight indication of a rostral lens.
  • Urosome 3-segmented.
  • Genital segment with 2 dorsal processes.
  • Caudal rami symmetrical.
  • 5th leg not quite symmetrical.


  • Recorded by Farran (1929) off New Zealand; recorded occasionally off Sydney Harbour (D. McKinnon, pers comm).
  • Cazassus (2004) recorded it for the first time in Tasmanian waters.


  • Not recorded in many previous studies perhaps because it is neustonic, occurring in the upper few centimetres of water.
  • Bright blue colouration is likely to provide UV protection and facilitate the neustonic life style.
  • Possible that it, like Labidocera cervi, has a resting egg stage in the life cycle, as has been described for its relative, Pontella meadi (Grice and Gibson, 1977) (please note at present there is no fact sheet for Pontella meadi).