Marine Biology

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 233–248 | Cite as

Geographical range and taxonomic divergence in North Atlantic Calanus (C. helgolandicus, C. finmarchicus and C. glacialis)

  • A. Fleminger
  • K. Hulsemann


The known distribution of Calanus helgolandicus in the North Atlantic Drift is difficult to explain in the absence of a reproductively active population inhabiting continental waters off eastern North America. New evidece indicates that this population, overlooked in the past, does in fact exist. The species has been found in a study of zooplankton samples from a number of MARMAP (Marine Resource Monitoring, Assessment, and Prediction Program) cruises surveying ichthyoplankton between Cape Hatteras and the New York Bight. Sexual activity in these stocks of C. helgolandicus was indicated by the ripeness of ovaries, the frequency of males, the presence of sperm in the females' seminal receptacles and the appearance of a female bearing a Calanus spermatophore. The new records provide a likely origin for the presence of the species in the vicinity of the Labrador Grand Banks as well as further east in the North Atlantic Drift. C. finmarchicus, similarly sexually active, was found to be sympatric with C. helgolandicus in the MARMAP collections which were taken from a region contiguous with the southernmost, known distribution, of C. glacialis. The distribution of integumental organs (i.e., pore signature patterns) was examined in the three species to determine whether they would be taxonomically useful. Strikingly different patterns were found on the female urosome. Pore signature differences between the polar species C. glacialis and the temperate C. helgolandicus proved to be as pronounced as those between the boreal C. finmarchicus and its two neighboring species. The successively overlapping ranges and the distinctive differences in pore signature patterns suggest that divergence from the generic pattern of integumental organ distribution has been a product of selection against hybridizing among the three species. If this is in fact the case, the reproductive range of C. helgolandicus has overlapped with those of C. finmarchicus and C. glacialis for appreciable periods in the history of the three species.


North America Sexual Activity Geographical Range Active Population Taxonomic Divergence 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Fleminger
    • 1
  • K. Hulsemann
    • 1
  1. 1.Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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