Copepoda(redirected from Copepods)
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an order of invertebrate animals of the class Crustacea. Copepoda are from 0.1 to 13 mm in size. A streamlined body with strongly developed extremities, which carry long falling antennules, is characteristic for Copepoda living mainly in the water, whereas Copepoda living near the bottom have thickened bodies and short extremities. Parasitic Copepoda have strongly adapted bodies in accordance with their modes of existence. Copepoda show various colorations. Specific (copepodan) stages of metamorphoses are characteristic of the Copepoda; they occur after the nauplius stage. Copepoda are distributed everywhere, in sea and fresh water. In the sea they constitute up to 90 percent of the plankton. Copepoda, particularly the large types of the calanides (Calanus finmarchicus, C. plumchrus, Eucalanus bungii, Pseudocalanus elongatus, and others) and the cyclopeds (Oithinia similis), have great practical significance, as feed for many commercial fish (herring, sardines, anchovies, and sprats) and for the young of almost all fish. In addition, Copepoda feed the baleen whale. A genus of Copepoda (the Cyclopes) are the intermediate hosts for certain worms (tapeworms and round worms) that are parasitical to humans and can cause serious illnesses, such as guinea worm. Certain maritime Copepoda are parasites on worms, ascidians, fish, and whales. The freshwater varieties are parasites on fish and often cause massive kills in the pond and lake fish industry.
REFERENCESZhizn’ presnykh vod SSSR, vol. 1. Edited by V. I. Zhadin. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
V. A. Dogel’. Zoologiia bespozvonochnykh, 5th ed. Moscow, 1959.
K. A. BRODSKII