Ferrari, Frank D. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
- Life history
- Modes of life
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A subclass of small crustaceans. Most individuals of the Copepoda are less than 5 mm (0.2 in.) in body length, although large parasitic copepods may reach 25 cm (10 in.). Diagnostic attributes of copepods include the following: body with 11 trunk somites (body segments), divided into two groups at a major articulation that often separates anterior broad somites from posterior narrow somites (Fig. 1); exopod absent on the first thoracic limb (maxilliped); development in two phases of up to six naupliar stages and six copepodid stages; pairs of second and third trunk limbs always united by a coupler on the first copepodid stage, and second through sixth trunk limb pairs may be united by a coupler on the last copepodid (that is, adult); and naupliar eye retained in all copepodid stages. The closest relatives of copepods are the mystacocaridan crustaceans. See also: Crustacea; Mystacocarida
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