Research Article

Occurrence of Mass Swarming of Family Acartiidae (Calanoid Copepods) (Zooplankton) in Ashtamudi Estuary, Kerala  

K. S. Santu , S. Bijoy  Nandan , K. Athira
Department of Marine Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, School of Marine Sciences, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin 682 016, Kerala, India
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2016, Vol. 6, No. 30   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2016.06.0030
Received: 21 Jul., 2016    Accepted: 02 Sep., 2016    Published: 05 Sep., 2016
© 2016 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Santu K.S., Nandan S.B. and Athira K., 2016, Occurrence of Mass Swarming of Family Acartiidae (Calanoid Copepods) (Zooplankton) in Ashtamudi Estuary, Kerala, International Journal of Marine Science, 6(30): 1-8 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2016.06.0030)


Aggregation and swarming of different species of zooplankton has been reported worldwide from estuaries and coastal systems. But such swarming behaviors are seldom reported from tropical water bodies. Mass swarming and aggregation of Acartia species (91%) in mesozooplankton were observed in Ashtamudi estuary on the west coast during late monsoon season (2015). The mesozooplankton density recorded was 106,578 ind.m-3; composed of calanoid copepods dominated by females (97%), fish eggs (2.4%) and cyclopoids (0.2%). Even though swarming of copepods appears to be a common phenomenon in temperate shallow waters, reports from tropical estuaries are less. Here, females were outnumbering males, with sex ratio of 1:3 (male to female) and observed with spermatophore in the collections suggesting aggregation of copepods that might be for mating purpose. Since the males are usually short lived, swarming will facilitate high rate of fertilization and it helps the copepods in existence and propagation. They are also able to disperse easily by producing resting eggs leading to their sudden appearance in water column when temperature rises and salinity increases. Presence of such swarms indicates habitat shifts due to climatic change, water pollution and eutrophication issues in the coastal environment. 

Mass swarming; Acartia species; Ashtamudi estuary; Zooplankton
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International Journal of Marine Science
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