Harpacticoid copepods

Harpacticoid copepods 1

Marine and brackish water Harpacticoid Copepods (Part 1) covers the two sub-orders Polyarthra and Oligoarthra. Keys enable identification to generic level.

The order Harpacticoida is one of the ten orders of the sub-class Copepoda. Along with six other sub-classes, it makes up the class Maxillopoda. it is of the classes of the lower Crustacea. So far around 800 species, within 190 genera, have been recorded in the waters around Britain and Ireland.

The marine harpacticoids are primarily bottom-living copepods, although a few are exclusively planktonic. Generally they are most abundant in soft sediments and on macro-algae. Most species are free-swimming in marine or brackish water. But some species are ectoparasitic or commensal on corals, tunicates, crustaceans, cephalopods or baleen whales. Overall they are second only in abundance to nematodes in benthic meiofaunal communities.

Synopses of the British Fauna is a series of identification guides. Each volume in the series is a detailed account of a group of animals. They bridge the gap between standard field guides and more specialised monograph or treatise. Since 1993 the the Field Studies Council has published these guides on behalf of the Linnean Society.

These volumes are suitable for the lab or field. The editors aim to keep them as user friendly as possible, with technical terminology at a minimum and a glossary of terms. However the complexity of the subject matter makes the books more suitable for the more experienced practitioner.