Recent explorations of hydrothermal vents in the eastern Pacific (Juan de Fuca spreading zone, Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California, East Pacific Rise at 21° N and 13° N, and Galapagos Rift) and on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge have revealed many copepods, mostly siphonostomatoids with few poecilostomatoids. In these habitats in depths from 1 808 to 3 650 m water temperatures may reach nearly 15 ° C. Among more than 22 000 copepods from vents examined two new families, 11 new genera, and 32 new species were represented.
In addition, two new copepods were found in 3 260 m at cold seeps at the base of the West Florida Escarpment in the Gulf of Mexico, an environment not thermally active, with water temperatures about 4.39 °C.
Some of these copepods were associated with host invertebrates such as a Nuculana-like protobranch bivalve, a polychaete, and two species of shrimps. Others were obtained from washings of bivalves or vestimentiferans or by means of corers or slurp guns.
Copepoda deep sea hydrothermal vents cold seeps Poecilostomatoida Siphonostomatoida