Geographic Distribution of Pelagic Copepods in the Mediterranean > Conclusion


Conclusion :

With 568 species, the Mediterranean Sea (with the Black Sea) comprises 21.7 % of 2632 identified in all seas.

With the exception of species regarded as "endemic" to the Mediterranean (55) and the monstrillids (22), a review of common species to this sea and the surrounding seas shows that 320 species have been observed in the Atlantic and Indian (12.3 %) including 221 Calanoida and 99 of other orders. 76 species are common only with the North Atlantic (49 Calanoida and 27 podopleans) and 76 only with the Indian-Red Sea (46 Calanoida and 30 podopleans).

Such results reveals a double influence of the origin of the fauna of Mediterranean copepods: Indian (old and lessepsian) and subtropical and temperate Atlantic. But as already mentioned by various authors Mediterranean fauna has been able to recover after the messinian episode from the influx of Atlantic water (403 species of the North Atlantic are known in the Mediterranean, or 71.5 %, of whom 277 Calanoida and 126 of other orders). The siculo-Tunisian threshold appears to be a barrier, despite the penetration the surface current initiated by the Atlantic flow to the east basin.

A review of species in the west and east bassins and in the Adriatic allow to establish the following summary:

Other orders (podopleans)
Total species
West basin:
East basin:

This table shows the relative poverty or lesser diversity of the east basin, subjected to less diverse hydrological conditions than the west basin, which moreover has the influence of the intermediate current from the eastern part. Numbers to relativize because of a prospection older and more followed in the west basin than in the east basin.

The number of common species to the W and E basins is 314 (55.4 %) of which 194 Calanoida and 120 podopleans. On this total 127 species are only in the W basin (of which 94 Calanoida and 33 of other orders) and 50 only in the E basin (of which 39 Calanoida and 11 of other orders)

On the 561 Mediterranean species, 282 are known in at least 11 zones (of the 25 world geographical zones) of which 204 Calanoida and 78 of other orders.

 Any use of this site for a publication will be mentioned with the following reference :

Razouls C., de Bovée F., Kouwenberg J. et Desreumaux N., 2005-2017. - Diversity and Geographic Distribution of Marine Planktonic Copepods. Available at 
[Accessed September 24, 2017]

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