Zoological Studies

Vol. 51 No. 4, 2012

Community Structure of the Harpacticoida (Crustacea: Copepoda) on the Coast of Chennai, India

Gopikrishna Mantha1,2,3, Muthaiyan Suriya Narayana Moorthy3, Kareem Altaff3, Hans-Uwe Dahms4, Kandasamy Sivakumar3,5, and Jiang-Shiou Hwang2,*

1Faculty of Marine Science, King Abdulaziz Univ. Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
2Institute of Marine Biology, National Taiwan Ocean Univ., Keelung 202, Taiwan
3Unit of Reproductive Biology and Live Feed Culture, The New College, Chennai 600014, India
4Green Life Science Department, College of Natural Science, Sangmyung Univ., 7 Hongij-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-743, South Korea
5Department of Biotechnology, Karpaga Vinayaga College of Engineering and Technology, Kancheepuram 603308, Tamilnadu, India

Gopikrishna Mantha, Muthaiyan Suriya Narayana Moorthy, Kareem Altaff, Hans-Uwe Dahms, Kandasamy Sivakumar, and  Jiang-Shiou Hwang (2012) Harpacticoid copepods were studied on sandy beaches of the Chennai coast of India from Jan. 2000 to Feb. 2001. This study provides the 1st quantitative account of these copepods on the southeastern coast of India. Surprisingly, harpacticoid copepod abundances more significantly differed among monthly samples than among stations. The total density of harpacticoids was 1.5 106 5.4 104 individuals (ind.)/10 cm2. The mean abundance in different months was highest in Feb. 2000 (15,182.67 21,019.15 ind./10 cm2) and was lowest in July 2000 (3951.07 5271.87 ind./10 cm2), whereas for stations it was highest at Neelangarai (25,187.33 31,831.51 ind./10 cm2) and the lowest at Besant Nagar (17,738.93 21,581.63 ind./10 cm2). The abundance of harpacticoid communities was dominated by copepodites during different months (25,256.14 14,884.09 ind./10 cm2 and at stations (72,470.40 15,892.51 ind./10 cm2). The mean highest and lowest abundance values of adult harpacticoids were for Arenopontia indica and Psammastacus acuticaudatus during different months (12,438.86 8547.53 and 495.71 496.88 ind./10 cm2) and at different stations (34,828.80 10,872.16 and 1388.00 232.24 ind./10 cm2), respectively. Cluster and principal coordinate analyses showed that harpacticoids were grouped into 6 categories. Ecological indices varied in different months, at different stations, and among harpacticoid species.

Key words: Meiofauna, Sandy beach, Harpacticoida, Chennai coast.

*Correspondence: Tel: 886-2-24622192 ext. 5304. Fax: 886-2-24629464. E-mail:jshwang@ntou.edu.tw