Copepods make up a large percentage of marine and freshwater plankton, though there are many benthic forms as well. They have the typical crustacean body plan, but with a few alterations.

Copepods like the isopods do not have a carapace, they lack abdominal appendages, and they only possess simple maxillopodan eyes. There are over 9000 extant species of copepods, most of which are only 0.5-10mm long, although some highly specialised parasitic species may reach 25cm in length. Below is a picture of a typical copepod.

Back to subgroups page.