Invertebrate Systematics Invertebrate Systematics Society
Systematics, phylogeny and biogeography

Cladistic analysis of the calanoid Copepoda

Janet M. Bradford-Grieve A E , Geoff A. Boxshall B , Shane T. Ahyong A C and Susumu Ohtsuka D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, PO Box 14901, Kilbirnie, Wellington 6241, New Zealand.

B Department of Zoology, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK.

C Present address: Australian Museum, 6 College St, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia.

D Faculty of Applied Biological Science, Hiroshima University, 4-4 Kagamiyama 1-chome, 739-8528 Higashi-Hiroshima, Japan.

E Corresponding author. Email:

Invertebrate Systematics 24(3) 291-321
Submitted: 25 February 2010  Accepted: 8 July 2010   Published: 30 August 2010


Calanoid copepods are extremely successful inhabitants of marine, brackish and freshwater plankton. Morphological data are used to arrive at a first, parsimony-based phylogeny for the calanoid copepods. Each family is represented by at least one exemplar, typically a recognised plesiomorphic species. The Epacteriscidae are sister to all other calanoid copepods – an observation that brings into question the concept of an Epacteriscoidea that includes the Ridgewayiidae. The monophyly of the Augaptiloidea, Centropagoidea, Clausocalanoidea and Pseudocyclopoidea is corroborated. The current analysis suggests there may be two major clades, one containing the Augaptiloidea, Centropagoidea and possibly the Pseudocyclopoidea and Ridgewayiidae and the other including the Megacalanidae, Calanidae/Paracalanidae, Bathypontioidea, Eucalanoidea, Ryocalanoidea, Spinocalanoidea and Clausocalanoidea. The relationships of the Pseudocyclopidae, Boholinidae, and Ridgewayiidae to the Centropagoidea/Augaptiloidea clade received low nodal support. Monophyly of an enlarged Bathypontioidea (including the Fosshageniidae) is proposed. A monophyletic Megacalanoidea is not retrieved. The nature of the inferred ancestral Calanoida is discussed. New evolutionary series are proposed for the female genitalia (including several losses and regaining of seminal receptacles, and independent losses of the genital operculum – once lost it is never regained) and leg 1 endopod. Paedomorphosis appears to be a dominant process in the evolution of the Calanoida.


The support of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) for the senior author, as an emeritus researcher, is acknowledged. This work is partially supported by the New Zealand Foundation for Research Science and Technology contract number CO1X0502 and the NIWA Capability Fund.


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