HomeThe Mindanao Forumvol. 25 no. 1 (2012)

Species of Copepods (Crustacea: Copepoda) from Northern Mindanao Nearshore Waters

Ephrime B. Metillo

Discipline: Zoology, Natural Sciences, Bio-Diversity



Copepods are small shrimp-like crustaceans that usually form the bulk of zooplankton samples. Since copepods directly graze on phytoplankton, and themselves are eaten by many fish and invertebrate larvae, they primarily function as an indispensable food web link between phytoplanktonic primary production and fish production in oceans and other aquatic bodies. They are recently recognized as an important aquaculture live food organisms because of their high nutritional value to early developmental stages of commercially important shellfish and finfish species. Scattered published studies point to a fact that the Philippine waters are inhabited by a high diversity of copepod species, but there is no available single publication that embodies all Philippine species. Added to this dilemma is the lack of reference specimens that match descriptions and images that appear in various publications. Hence, diversity in terms of species richness was determined in copepods from selected sampling sites of northern Mindanao coastal waters. A total of 63 most common species were identified and documented in this study. It is hoped that in the long term more species from other Philippine waters will be collected, described, photographed and preserved reference specimens archived in Philippine museums so that future researchers can append the database to this initial study.