Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 3, pp 919–934 | Cite as

Reproductive biology of deep-water calanoid copepods from the Arctic Ocean

  • K. N. KosobokovaEmail author
  • H.-J. Hirche
  • R. R. Hopcroft
Research Article


Reproductive modes and egg production were studied in 15 species of meso- and bathypelagic copepods from nine Calanoida families in the Arctic Ocean. During shipboard incubation, females of seven species released eggs freely into the water and females of three species produced membrane-bound egg sacs. One species, Aetideopsis rostrata, produced a mass of eggs looking like an egg sac, but the “sac” lacked a membrane and disintegrated within 2 h. Females of four additional species were encountered with membrane-bound egg sacs in the preserved samples. In most families, only one reproductive mode, either egg-carrying (the Euchaetidae, Augaptilidae), or broadcast spawning (the Heterorhabdidae, Spinocalanidae, Scolecitrichidae, Tharybidae, Bathypontiidae) was observed. In contrast, different genera of the Aetideidae family demonstrated different reproductive modes, with broadcast spawning predominant in the benthopelagic species, and both broadcast spawning and egg-brooding in the planktonic species. Clutch size and egg diameter varied widely between species in both broadcast spawners and egg-brooders. In broadcast spawners, the clutch size varied from 1 to 95 eggs female−1, while the average egg diameter ranged from 152 to 440 μm. The clutch size for egg brooders varied between 3 and 82, while average egg diameter varied from 258 to 732 μm. Deep-water broadcast spawners produced much larger eggs compared to surface-dwelling broadcast spawning species. This larger egg size may result in a reduction, or elimination, of feeding during naupliar stages, thereby improving the survival potential of deep-water species.


Arctic Ocean Clutch Size Reproductive Mode Reproductive Investment Broadcast Spawner 
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We appreciate the help of T. Scherzinger and S. Timofeev during sample collection. Y. Okolodkov helped to take photo of Augaptilus glacialis. The work of KKN was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research, grants No. 03-05-64871 and 06-05-65187. Canada Basin research was funded by the Office of Ocean Exploration of the United States National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) under grant NA05OAR4601079. This study contributes to the Arctic Ocean Diversity project of the Census of Marine Life project.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. N. Kosobokova
    • 1
    Email author
  • H.-J. Hirche
    • 2
  • R. R. Hopcroft
    • 3
  1. 1.P.P.Shirshov Institute of OceanologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Marine ScienceUniversity of AlaskaFairbanksUSA

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