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Microsetella rosea

Dana (1848)

Download a fact sheet for Microsetella rosea (PDF 297KB) 


Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Maxillopoda
Subclass Copepoda
Order Harpacticoida
Family Ectinosomatidae
Genus Microsetella
Species rosea


  • Female: 0.64 - 0.85 mm
  • Male: 0.37 - 0.70 mm

Species notes

  • Body slender & laterally compressed
  • Urosome is as wide as metasome
  • Caudal rami setae twice as long as body


  • Males are rarer than females
  • A1 slender, elongate, 5-segmented, geniculate


  • Sometimes has a rosy tinge
  • The 2nd, 3rd & 5th prosome somites and the urosome somites have traverse rows of spinules near the anterior margins
  • Longest setae on the caudal rami 2x as long as body
  • P5 with 2 inner setae approx equal in length

Note - similar to M. norvegica:

  • Check size, if over 0.8mm it is likely M. rosea
  • Length of caudal rami setae, if nearly twice as long as body then it is M. rosea, if shorter than it could be either species (setae could be broken)
  • M. rosea has spinules on metasome and urosome, M. norvegica has spinules on urosome
  • M. norvegica caudal rami slightly more divergent than M. rosea
  • M. rosea may be coloured pink


  • Epipelagic
  • Oceanic and coastal
  • Australian distribution includes Gulf of Carpentaria, Great Barrier Reef, New South Wales and eastern Tasmania
  • World distribution: cosmopolitan except for the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans


  • Herbivorous
  • Important dietary component for larvae of small pelagic fishes; examples include European anchovy in the Mediterranean (Engraulis encrasicolus) and larval jack mackerel (Trachurus declivis) in eastern Tasmania


  • Bacha & Amara (2009)
  • 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.
  • Othman et al (1990)
  • Young & Davis (1992)