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Platycopia perplexa.jpg
Platycopia perplexa
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Maxillopoda
Subclass: Copepoda
Infraclass: Progymnoplea
Lang, 1948
Order: Platycopioida
Fosshagen, 1985
Family: Platycopiidae
G. O. Sars, 1911

Platycopiidae is a family of copepods. Until the description of Nanocopia in 1988, it contained the single genus Platycopia.[1] It now contains four genera, three of which are monotypic; the exception is Platycopia, with 8 species.


The family Platycopiidae was erected by Georg Ossian Sars when he described the new species P. perplexa, and included it in the order Calanoida.[2] In 1948, Karl Georg Herman Lang erected a new suborder, Progymnoplea, for the family, and in 1985, Audun Fosshagen & Thomas Iliffe created the order Platycopioida to contain the Platycopiidae, initially placed alongside Calanoida in the superorder Gymnoplea.[2] Most recently, Huys & Boxshall inferred that Platycopiidae was the earliest branching copepod lineage, making it the sister taxon to all other copepods; they therefore raised Progymnoplea to the rank of infraclass, to accommodate Platycopioida alone, with all other copepods being placed in the Neocopepoda.[2]

Members of the Platycopiidae have a primitive form, thought to be similar to the most recent common ancestor of all copepods. Few synapormorphies have been found to unite the family, but they include the presence of a second dorsal seta (hair) on particular segments of the legs.[3] They share with calanoid copepods the possession of Von Vaupel Klein's organ, a sensory organ near the base of the first swimming leg.[3]


Antrisocopia prehensilis Fosshagen, 1985 is a critically endangered species from a limestone anchialine cave in Bermuda, known from only five mature specimens.[4]

Nanocopia minuta Fosshagen, 1988 is a critically endangered species from the same anchialine cave as Antrisocopia, and is known from only two specimens.[5]

Sarsicopia polaris Martínez Arbizu, 1997 was collected in 1993 from a depth of 534 metres (1,752 ft) in the Barents Sea.[2]

Platycopia comprises eight species, distributed in the North Sea, the eastern seaboard of North America, the Bahamas, Mauritania and Japan.[2] The first species to be described was P. perplexa, named by Georg Ossian Sars in 1911.[2]


  1. ^ Fosshagen, Audun; Iliffe, Thomas M. (1988). Boxshall, G. A.; Schminke, H. K., eds. "Biology of Copepods" (PDF). Hydrobiologia. 167/168: 357–361. doi:10.1007/bf00026325.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Arbizu, Pedro Martínez (1997). "Sarsicopia polaris gen. et sp.n., the first Platycopioida (Copepoda: Crustacea) from the Arctic Ocean, and its phylogenetic significance". Hydrobiologia. 350 (1–3): 35–47. doi:10.1023/A:1003020829836. 
  3. ^ a b Ferrari, Frank D.; Dahms, Hans-Uwe (2007). "Post-embryonic development of the Copepoda" (PDF). Crustaceana Monographs. 8: 1–226. ISBN 90-04-15713-1. 
  4. ^ T. M. Iliffe (1996). "Antrisocopia prehensilis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2.3 (2.3). International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved May 13, 2011. 
  5. ^ T. M. Iliffe (1996). "Nanocopia minuta". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2.3 (2.3). International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved May 13, 2011.