Anomalocera patersoni (Templeton, 1837)

Anomalocera patersoni imageSynonyms: None.

Common names: None.

Order (Scientific): CALANOIDA.

Family (Scientific): PONTELLIDAE.

Taxonomic descriptions: One of three species of the Pontellidae Family into the Black Sea. The head is somewhat triangular with a recurved spine or cephalic hook on each side. It bears two pairs of dorsal ocular lenses. There is a ventral eye and five obvious thoracic segments, the last of which is asymmetrical in the male. The antennule is about half the length of the body and has about twenty joints. It is of very uneven thickness in the male. This is a large copepod and of a blue or blue-green colour. The length of females is 3.5-4.2 mm, of males 3-4 mm.

Anomalocera patersoni arealIUCN Status:
    World level:
    Black Sea Regional level: EN
    Subregion level: EN

Distribution: All the Black Sea, except low salinity areas and the Sea of Azov. Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, English Channel, North Sea, Pacific Ocean.

Habitats type, Critical habitats, Limiting factors: A neustonic species inhabiting the surface microlayer of water 0-5 cm. Wintering dormant eggs are laid on the bottom. Limiting factors are the pollution of the water surface by surfactants and the lack of oxygen in the near-bottom layer.

Biology: Well adapted to the surface layer of water, living in coastal and open sea areas, a blue coloured carnivore copepod, able to aerial jump. It is a North Atlantic origin species with mass development in spring and autumn. Abundant in convergence zones in which surface waters of different origins come together.

Population trends: Sharp decline in population numbers since the 1970s. A reduction of 50-70% over the last 10 years, according to direct observations.

Threats: Pollution of the surface microlayer of water and eutrophication triggering bottom hypoxia.

Conservation measures taken: None.

Conservation measures proposed: Listing in the Black Sea Red Data Book. Reduction in Black Sea pollution.


  1. Newell, G.E. and Newell, R.C., 1966. Marine Plankton, a practical guide. London, Hutchinson Educational, pp. 221, (in English).
  2. Dolgopol’skaya, M.A., 1969. Otryad calanoida G.O. Sars (Order Calanoida G.O. Sars), In: Opredelitel’ fauny Chernogo I Azovskogo morey (A key to Black Sea and the Sea of Azov fauna)., Kiev, Naukova dumka, II, p. 34-48, (in Russian).
  3. Zaitsev, Yu.P., 1971. Marine Neustonology. Jerusalem: Israel Program for Scientific Translations, pp. 207, (in English).
  4. Zaitsev, Yu. and Mamaev, V., 1997. Marine Biological Diversity in the Black Sea. A study of change and decline. New York: United Nations Publications, pp. XV, 208, (in English).

Compiled by: Yu.Zaitsev.