Oithona Baird, 1843
Oithonids are abundant cyclopoid copepods that are common in marine planktonic communities worldwide. They occur over a wide latitudinal range in coastal and offshore waters, both in epipelagic and mesopelagic zones of the open ocean, as well as in brackish areas. Most species are less than 1 mm in body length and are most efficiently captured by small-mesh nets (< 200 μm). This leaflet presents the taxonomic and ecological characteristics of 14 Oithona species that are widely distributed in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea: O. atlantica, O. brevicornis, O.davisae, O. colcarva, O. decipiens, O. longispina, O. nana, O. parvula, O. plumifera, O. robusta, O. setigera, O.similis-group, O. tenuis,andO. vivida.The family Oithonidae is also briefly presented, together with ataxonomic key to distinguish among the three genera that belong to it. This work is largely based on the paper by Nishida (1985),the book by Boxshall and Halsey (2004), and the extensive information provided by the website on marine planktonic copepods by Razouls et al. (2005–2018). This is a new leaflet.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee