A new species of harpacticoid copepod discovered from the eastern Mediterranean Sea

Harpacticoida is an order of mainly benthic copepods, comprised of about 6,000 species and found throughout the world in the marine environment and in fresh water. In marine sediments, they are usually the second most abundant meiofaunal taxon after nematodes but tend to become the dominant taxon in coarse-grained sediments and on marine algae. Benthic harpacticoid copepods often dominate the diets of juvenile flatfish.

During a monitoring survey of the meiofaunal community along the coast of Israel, a new species of harpacticoid, Elanella haifensis, was discovered and described by one of EcoAnalyst’s marine taxonomists, David Drumm. It is the largest harpacticoid copepod in the region where it was discovered (1.45 mm), and is common. This is the first record of this genus in Mediterranean waters. Two other species are known, one from the Red Sea, and the other from Papua New Guinea.

The new species was named for the type locality, Haifa, Israel, and has been published in the journal, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington:

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