In an earlier work a first inventory was alphabetically established, starting from work covering only systematics (Razouls, 1982, 1992). In the present work one of us (C.R) reconsidered the genera and species, family by family (  List of orders, sub-orders, families, sub-families, genera and sub-genera from 1892 to 2013/2014 ), in alphabetical order, because of current uncertainties on the rearrangements in super-families (Andronov, 1974; Bowman & Abele, 1982; Park, 1986; Boxshall & Halsey, 2004), with the essential corrections and additions, in particular concerning dimensions of the adults (Lg.) and the frequency of quotations (N).

Plates in Giesbrecht, 1892

For all cited authors we give the year of publication, and used the same code as in the Bibliography of Copepoda (Vervoort, 1986, 1986 a, 1988) (ex: 1954; 1954 a, etc.). When page numbers are indicated (between brackets) throughout the references of the chapter 'Taxonomic Classification' it means that the referred article is present in the oceanology library of the Observatory of Banyuls (*). With regard to the quotations of Sars which were published in the form of booklets over several years, we indicate the date of origin followed by the year of publication of the volume (between brackets). The same in the case of authors whose works were translated later on, or for which the year indicated on the publication does not correspond to the date of actual publication (except in the case of Wolfenden, 1905 (1906)).

All the species were listed starting from the work of Giesbrecht (1892) until 2013/2014 (starting from the list of the studied authors and after checking in Zoological Records and Biological Abstracts). The species considered as valid are preceded by a number between square brackets with details concerning the species.
Principal synonymies are indicated (Syn.:).
References (Ref.:) include those of the describing author and the authors having provided synonymies and/or morphological complements and dimensions.
Complementary References (Compl. Ref.:) include, more particularly, a selection of the authors for geographical and ecological data (except particular cases).
The species localities records result from the consulted literature ( See Appendix:  List of the studied authors ). N is the number of quotations of the species.

Plates in Giesbrecht, 1892

The spatial resolution is indicated on the world map (  Map of the 25 geographical zones ) specifies the locality records of each form within this arbitrarily selected framework. The definition of the geographical zones can be debatable insofar as it does not condition a priori chorology, but it permits a first approach of the state of knowledge on the localities of the species and the methods of the geographical dispersion of various species.


The distribution of the species according to the zones relates to various diffusion mechanisms corresponding to models related to :

1 - surface or deep currents as initially shown by Sewell (1948);
2 - latitude zones related to the surface and sub-surface temperatures of the different water masses (Van der Spoel & Heyman, 1983);
3 - anthropogenic transport (Carlton & Geller, 1993);
4 - the process of continental drift (a problem addressed by Sewell, 1956);
5 - species whose locality records are surprising, perhaps due to debatable identifications (generally impossible to confirm) or to not yet established synonymies;
6 - quantitative changes in the specific composition in a geographical area (Kouwenberg & Razouls, 1990).

The tables of the geographical synthesis in a matrix are all based on: occurrence [1], absence [0], or doubtful [?].


The 26 geographical zones are numbered as follows:

3 :
4 :
5 :
 South Africa (E & W), Namibia
6 :
 Gulf of Guinea (sensu lato): Angola-Liberia
7 :
 Venezuela, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Florida, Sargasso Sea
8 :
 Cape Verde Is., Canary Is., Madeira Is., Azores, Bay of Biscay, Ibero-Moroccan Bay
9 :
 Ireland, English Channel, Faroe, Norway, North Sea, Baltic Sea
10 :
 Southern Iceland, southern Greenland (E & W), Strait of Davis, Labrador Sea
11 :
 Cape Cod, Nova Scotia, Island of Newfoundland
12 :
 Central South-Atlantic (Tristan da Cunha-Trinidad-St Helena-N Ascension)
13 :
14 :
 Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea
15 :
 Red Sea
16 :
 Indian Ocean
17 :
 Gulf of Thailand, Malaysia-Indonesia-Philippines
18 :
 Australia (E), Great Barrier Reef, Tasman Sea, New Zealand, New Caledonia
19 :
 Central Tropical Pacific
20 :
 Eastern Tropical Pacific (Central America, Galapagos, Northern Peru)
21 :
 China Seas, Vietnam
22 :
 Japan Sea, Japan
23 :
 North West Pacific (Sea of Okhotsk-Kuril Islands-Kamtchatka-Sea of Bering)
24 :
 North East Pacific (Gulf of Alaska, "P" station, British Columbia)
25 :
 California-Gulf of California
26 :
 Chile (sensu lato)
27 :
 Arctic Ocean

To facilitate the reading of this code a map of the geographical zones is provided (  Map of the 26 geographical zones )


*: We would not have been able to achieve this work without the assistance of the personnel in charge of the very rich library at the Observatory of Banyuls, and in particular of Mrs. Marie-Thérèse Panouse, Sandrine Maria and Véronique Arnaud.



Abbreviations or symbols:

Syn.: synonyms ( cf in Appendix:  List of the studied authors ).
Ref.: morphological references for the identification of the species ( cf in Appendix:  List of the studied authors ).
Compl. Ref.: complementary references concerning authors of the geographical and ecological data (they are not exhaustive in order to avoid too many redundancies). The records are not accompanied by taxonomic information, so that the identity of the cited species cannot always be certified with certainty ( cf in Appendix:  List of the studied authors ).
NZ: number of zones in which the species is announced.
Loc.: geographical locality records ( cf in Appendix:  Geographical glossary ).
N: numbers of quotations of the concerned species in the consulted publications (faunas excluded).
Lg: ( n° author, cf. in Appendix:  References of the authors concerning dimensions of the Copepoda ) and dimensions of the female adults and males in mm.
Rem.: remarks.
Cf.: reference to the valid species.
Def.: definition of the species.
Redef.: redefinition of the species.
Descr.: description of the one of the sexes (description is implicit when the pagination is followed by the indication figs.F, M).
O: egg.
N: nauplius.
juv: juvenile form.
F: female.
M: male.
off: offshore from.

 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 26, 2017]

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