Copepods are small crustaceans that have colonised virtually every aquatic habitat from the deep sea ﬂoor to the high Himalayas. They are by far the dominant animal group in marine plankton and often in freshwater plankton also. They are abundant both on and in marine sediments from the intertidal zone to the abyss and can be found in damp terrestrial habitats in large numbers. The variety of free-living forms is only part of the copepod success story since copepods have become associates or parasites of virtually every animal phylum from sponges and cnidarians up to chordates, including fish and mammals.
This volume examines in detail the evolutionary pathways that generated the amazing diversity of copepods. It contains over 900 individual drawings and 43 black and white plates which illustrate the basic form of each of the 10 recognised orders of copepods. Existing classifications are reviewed and a new scheme of phylogenetic relationships is proposed based on the data in this volume.