Featured Microscopist: Wim van Egmond

Copepod Larva

Copepod Larva

The reproductive process of copepods varies, but is most often sexual. Egg sacks usually develop soon after copulation and are carried outside of the bodies of females. The number of eggs they contain is species dependent, but they generally hatch into larvae after a period of a few days. These early larvae are referred to as nauplii and may be as little as 20 micrometers in diameter. At first, they possess simple, unsegmented bodies, three pairs of appendages, and a solitary eye. However, the larvae soon undergo a series of five molts, eventually becoming what are known as copepodids. In this form, the developing organisms appear similar to the adults but still lack a full number of limbs, and in parasitic species this is typically the infective stage of the organism. The proper number of limbs and complete segmentation are finally acquired after another series of molts, which results in a sexually mature adult.


Photomicrographs are © 2000-2013 by Wim van Egmond.
All Rights Reserved under copyright law.
© 1995-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, software, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Monday, Dec 01, 2003 at 01:54 PM
Access Count Since September 15, 2003: 6255