Laophontodes typicus T. Scott (Copepoda, Harpacticoida, Laophontodinae) – discovering a species complex by morphology

Kai Horst George


It appeared necessary to undertake a redescription of Laophontodes typicus T. Scott, 1894, but with the absence of the type specimen, several additional individuals collected from a number of regions were studied. The specimens chosen were from the western coast of Sussex and the Scottish Firth of Forth (UK), the Skjerstad fjord (Norway), the Patagonian continental slope (Chile) and the Great Meteor Seamount (subtropical north-eastern Atlantic Ocean). All specimens examined had been previously determined as L. typicus and deposited in the collections of renowned research institutions. However, detailed morphological comparison revealed that only the Sussex material can be assigned to L. typicus; the remaining specimens represent distinct species whose original assignment to L. typicus was erroneous, due to a morphological ambiguity. Thus, the current status of L. typicus must be regarded as a species complex. The Sussex material enabled a detailed redescription of L. typicus. Additionally, five new species are described, namely L. scottorum sp. nov., L. sarsi sp. nov., L. gertraudae sp. nov., L. monsmaris sp. nov. and L. norvegicus sp. nov. They exhibit some morphological similarity, but equally present discrete characters justifying their establishment as distinct taxa. The descriptions are accompanied by a detailed discussion that explains the justification of the splitting of L. typicus.


Crustacea; meiofauna; Ancorabolidae; systematics; taxonomy

Full Text:




Arroyo N.L., George K.H., Benito J. & Maldonado M. 2003. A new species of Ancorabolidae (Copepoda, Harpacticoida) from the northern coast of Spain: Laophontodes mourois sp. n. Hydrobiologia 498 (1–3): 169–176.

Ax P. 1984. Das Phylogenetische System. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart.

Chislenko L.L. 1967. Copepoda Harpacticoida of the Karelian coast of the White Sea. Proceedings of the White Sea Biological Station, Zoological Institute 7 (15): 48–196.

Chislenko L.L. 1977. Harpacticoids (Copepoda Harpacticoidea) from sponges of Franz Josef Land. Exploration of the fauna of the Seas. Biocoenoses of the shelf of Franz Josef Land and the fauna of adjacent waters 14 (22): 237–276.

Conroy-Dalton S. 2004. Systematics and phylogeny of the Ancorabolidae (Copepoda: Harpacticoida). V. Description of Lobopleura, new genus, with notes on Probosciphontodes Fiers. Journal of Crustacean Biology 24: 17–36.

Easton E.E., Thistle D. & Spears T. 2010. Species boundaries in Zausodes-complex species (Copepoda: Harpacticoida: Harpacticidae) from the north-eastern Gulf of Mexico. Invertebrate Systematics 24: 258–270.

Fahrbach E. & Gerdes D. (eds.) 1997. Die Expedition ANTARKTIS XIII/4–5 des Forschungsschiffes „Polarstern“ 1996. Berichte zur Polarforschung 239: 1–126.

George K.H. 1999. Gemeinschaftsanalytische Untersuchungen der Harpacticoidenfauna der Magellanregion, sowie erste similaritätsanalytische Vergleiche mit Assoziationen aus der Antarktis. Berichte zur Polarforschung 327: 1–187.

George K.H. 2005. Sublittoral and bathyal Harpacticoida (Crustacea: Copepoda) of the Magellan region. Composition, distribution and species diversity of selected major taxa. Scientia Marina 69 (2): 247–158.

George K.H. 2006. Ancorabolinae Sars (Copepoda: Harpacticoida: Ancorabolidae) of the deep Atlantic Ocean. Ancorabolina chimaera gen. et sp. n. including remarks to ancorabolid phylogeny and to the evolution of the first natatorial leg in comparison with Laophontoidea T. Scott. Meiofaua Marina 15: 157–176.

George K.H. 2017. Phylogeny of the taxon Paralaophontodes Lang (Copepoda, Harpacticoida, Laophontodinae), including species descriptions, chorological remarks, and a key to species. Zoosystematics and Evolution 93 (2): 211–241. 3897/zse.93.11314

George K.H. & Gheerardyn H. 2015. Remarks on the genus Laophontodes T. Scott, 1894 (Copepoda, Harpacticoida, Ancorabolidae, Laophontodinae), including the (re-)description of four species. Zoologischer Anzeiger 259: 61–96.

George K.H. & Schminke H.K. 2002. Harpacticoida (Crustacea, Copepoda) of the Great Meteor Seamount, with first conclusions as to the origin of the plateau fauna. Marine Biology 141: 887–895.

Gheerardyn H. & Lee W. 2012. Calypsophontodes gen. nov. (Copepoda: Harpacticoida: Ancorabolidae), a new genus of Laophontodinae, including remarks on ancorabolid phylogeny. Journal of Crustacean Biology 32: 263–280.

Huys R. & Boxshall G.A. 1991. Copepod Evolution. The Ray Society Memoir 159, London.

Huys R., Gee J.M., Moore C.G. & Hamond R. 1996. Marine and brackish water harpacticoid copepods. Part 1. Synopses of the British Fauna (New series) 51: 1–352.

Jakubisiak S. 1933. Les Harpacticoïdes marins recueillis pendant la croisière du navire-école polonais “Dar Pomorza” en hiver 1931-1932. Annals Musei Zoologici Polonici 10 (8): 87–92.

Jakubisiak S. 1936. Matériaux à la faune des harpacticoides de Roscoff. Fragmenta faunistica musei zoologici polonici 2 (28): 315–321.

Klie W. 1950. Harpacticoiden (Copepoden) aus dem Bereich von Helgoland und der Kieler Bucht (Fortsetzung). Kieler Meeresforschungen 7: 76–128.

Kornev P.N. & Chertoprud E.S. 2008. Harpacticoid copepods from the White Sea: Morphology, Systematics, Ecology. KMK Scientific Press, Moscow.

Lang K. 1934. Marine Harpacticoida von der Campbell-Insel und einigen anderen südlichen Inseln. Lunds Universitets Årsskrift N.F. Avd. 2 (30) (14): 1–56.

Lang K. 1948. Monographie der Harpacticiden. Otto Koeltz Science Publishers, Koenigstein.

Lang K. 1965. Copepoda Harpacticoida from the Californian pacific coast. Kungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademiens Handlingar 10: 1–566.

Roe K.M. 1958. The littoral harpacticids of the Dalkey (co. Dublin) area with descriptions of six new species. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 59: 221–255.

Sars G.O. 1908. An account of the Crustacea of Norway with short descriptions and figures of all the species. 5. Copepoda Harpacticoida. Parts XXIII and XXIV: Laophontidae (cont.): 257–276. The Bergen Museum, Bergen.

Schizas N.V. & Shirley T.C. 1994. Two new species of Laophontodes (Copepoda, Harpacticoida, Ancorabolidae) from McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Zoologica Scripta 23 (3): 205–216.

Schminke H.K. 1976. The ubiquitous telson and the deceptive furca. Crustaceana 30: 292–299.

Scott T. 1894. Additions to the fauna of the Firth of Forth. Part III. Annual Report of the Fishery Board for Scotland 12 (3): 231–271.

Scott T. 1903. On some new and rare Crustacea collected at various times in connection with the investigations of the fishery boards for Scotland. Annual Report of the Fishery Board for Scotland 21 (3): 109–135.

Scott T. 1907. Some additional notes on Copepoda from Scottish seas. Annual Report of the Fishery Board for Scotland 25 (3): 209–220.

Ventham D. 2011. Harpacticoid copepods from the Sussex coast (eastern English Channel): records 1992-1997. The Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton.

Wells J.B.J. 2007. An annotated checklist and keys to the species of Copepoda Harpacticoida (Crustacea). Zootaxa 1568: 1–872.

Willen E. 2000. Phylogeny of the Thalestridimorpha Lang, 1944 (Crustacea, Copepoda). Cuvillier Verlag, Göttingen.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

License URL: