copepod


copepod
/koh"peuh pod'/, n.
any of numerous tiny marine or freshwater crustaceans of the order (or subclass) Copepoda, lacking compound eyes or a carapace and usually having six pairs of limbs on the thorax, some abundant in plankton and others parasitic on fish.
[1830-40; < NL Copepoda name of the order < Gk kópe a handle, oar + -poda -PODA]

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Any of the 10,000 known species of crustaceans in the subclass Copepoda.

Copepods are widely distributed and ecologically important, serving as food for many species of fish. Most species are free-living marine forms, found from the sea's surface to great depths. Some live in freshwater or in damp vegetation; others are parasites. Most species are 0.02–0.08 in. (0.5–2 mm) long. The largest species, a parasite of the fin whale, grows to a length of about 13 in. (32 cm). Unlike most crustaceans, copepods have no carapace. Nonparasitic forms feed on microscopic plants or animals or even on animals as large as themselves. Members of the genus Cyclops (order Cyclopoida) are called water fleas. See also guinea worm.

Copepods (Temora)

Douglas P. Wilson

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 any member of the widely distributed crustacean subclass Copepoda. Copepods are of great ecological importance, providing food for many species of fish. Most of the 10,000 known species are free-living marine forms, occurring throughout the world's oceans. Copepods are key components of marine food chains and serve either directly or indirectly as food sources for most commercially important fish species. Some live in freshwater; a few live in damp moss, in moisture at the base of leaves, or in humus. Some species are parasitic (parasitism). Water fleas (genus Cyclops), microscopic freshwater species of the order Cyclopoida, can transmit the guinea worm to humans.

 Most copepods are 0.5 to 2 mm (0.02 to 0.08 inch) long. The largest species, Pennella balaenopterae, which is parasitic on the finback whale, grows to a length of 32 cm (about 13 inches). Males of Sphaeronellopsis monothrix, a parasite of marine ostracods, are among the smallest copepods, attaining lengths of only 0.11 mm.

      Copepods lack compound (i.e., multifaceted) eyes. Unlike most crustaceans, they also lack a carapace—a shieldlike plate over the dorsal, or back, surface. Some species feed on microscopic plants or animals; others prey on animals as large as themselves. Parasitic forms suck the tissues of the host. Most species reproduce sexually, but certain forms also reproduce by parthenogenesisi.e., the eggs develop into new individuals without being fertilized by the male.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Copepod — Temporal range: Early Cretaceous – Recent …   Wikipedia

  • copepod — COPEPÓD, copepode, s.n. (La pl.) Subclasă de crustacee mici care formează planctonul din apele dulci sau marine; (şi la sg.) crustaceu din această subclasă. – Din fr. copépodes. Trimis de IoanSoleriu, 31.07.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  copepód s. n., pl …   Dicționar Român

  • Copepod — Cop e*pod, a. (Zo[ o]l.) Of or pertaining to the Copepoda. n. One of the Copepoda. [1913 Webster] || …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • copepod — [kō′pə päd΄] n. [< Gr kōpē, oar < kaptein, to gulp down (see HAVE) + POD] any of a class (Copepoda) of small, sometimes parasitic, crustaceans living in either salt or fresh water …   English World dictionary

  • copepod — noun Etymology: ultimately from Greek kōpē oar, handle + pod , pous foot; probably akin to Latin capere to take more at heave, foot Date: 1836 any of a large subclass (Copepoda) of usually minute freshwater and marine crustaceans • copepod… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • copepod — noun Any of very many small crustaceans, of the subclass Copepoda, that are widely distributed and ecologically important; they include the water fleas …   Wiktionary

  • copepod — Any member of the order Copepoda. * * * co·pe·pod (koґpə pod) [Gr. kōpē oar + pous foot] any animal of the subclass Copepoda …   Medical dictionary

  • copepod — [ kəʊpɪpɒd] noun Zoology a small or microscopic aquatic crustacean of the large class Copepoda. Origin from mod. L. Copepoda, from Gk kōpē handle, oar + pous, pod foot (because of their paddle like feet) …   English new terms dictionary

  • copepod — co·pe·pod …   English syllables

  • copepod — co•pe•pod [[t]ˈkoʊ pəˌpɒd[/t]] n. ivt any tiny marine or freshwater crustacean of the class Copepoda: some are abundant in plankton and others are parasitic • Etymology: 1830–40; < NL Copepoda=cope , appar. forcopo , combining form of Gk kṓpē… …   From formal English to slang


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