With ca. 10,000 species and immense population densities the Copepoda form an important link in the food chain of marine and fresh-water ecosystems. From the mm-sized free-living species, parasitic Copepoda — in particular fish parasites — evolved in diverse lineages (KABATA 1979); this was connected with an enormous increase in body size. The maximum reached is 32 cm in the females of Penella balaenoptera, a parasite on Baleen whales.
KeywordsThoracic Segment Seminal Receptacle Trunk Segment Baleen Whale Ground Pattern
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