New report of Laophonte cornuta Philippi,1840 (Copepoda: Harpacticoida) from the coral area, North of Tioman Island, South China Sea


  • Azrina Sham International Islamic University Malaysia
  • Zaleha Kassim International Islamic University Malaysia
  • Zuhairi Ahmad International Islamic University Malaysia
  • Ahmad Ismail



Taxonomy, Harpacticoida, Coral Area, Laophotidae, South China Sea


Laophonte cornuta Philippi 1840 was first reported in rather temperate regions and later noted to extend their distribution to the warmer coasts. The earlier reports were based on specimen collected from bottom vegetation or sediment enriched in organic matter. The present study was carried out during the warm month phenomenon which struck coral areas in the South China Sea in 2016. Sediment core samples were collected by SCUBA divers in the coral areas at Pulau Tulai (2°54'24.84"N,104° 5'57.67"E) and Batu Malang (2°52'29.98"N,104° 8'47.92"E), in the northern part of Tioman Island. The bottom substrates were covered by mostly dead corals and coral rubbles. Taxonomic observation was carried out following the sorting and microscopic dissection process in the laboratory. The denticulate margin of somites along with blunt short spinules distributed on the surface as shown from the Scanning Electroscopic Microscopy (SEM) observation proves their morphological adaptation to survive between the coral rubbles and gravels in the study area. Other variation found is on the size of the caudal rami which is very much slender than those reported from colder regions. Except for the setae formula, it shared similar characters with L. paradduensis reported from Maldives and L. aeutirostris from Monterey Bay. The present specimen also shared some variation found in specimen reported from the Andaman Sea. L. cornuta reported from the Tioman Island might be able to endure the harsh environment due to their robust feature of the body surface.

Author Biography

Zaleha Kassim, International Islamic University Malaysia

Marine Science Department


Johan, I., Abu Hena, M.K., Idris, M.H., Arshad, A. (2013). Taxonomic composition and abundance of zooplankton copepoda in the coastal waters of Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia. Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science, 8, 472-479.

Nakajima, R., Yoshida, T., Othman, B.R. & Toda, T. (2013). First record of a blue-pigmented Acartiid copepod in the tropical coral reef waters of Malaysia. Galaxea Journal of Coral Reef Studies, 15, 27-28.

Chew, L.L. & Chong, V.C. (2016). Response of marine copepods to a changing tropical environment: winners, losers and implications. Peer J, 4, e2052. Doi:10.7717/peerj. 2052

Zaleha, K., John, A., Asgnari, N., Al-Aama & Fuad, M.A. (2014). Fatty acid profiling of benthic harpacticoid (Pararobertsonia sp.) exposed to environmental stresses, Malaysian Applied Biology, 43(1), 31-40.

Kassim, Z. & Busra, I. (2012). Culture of harpacticoid copepods: Understanding the reproduction and effect of environmental factors. In Muchlisin, Z. (Ed.), Aquaculture (pp. 343-360). Rijeka Croatia, Intech Open Access Publisher.

Boxshall, G. A. & Halsey, S. H. (2004). Introduction to copepod diversity. London, UK: The Ray Society.

Huys, R. & Lee, J. (2018). Philippiphonte aspidosoma gen. et sp. n., a radically divergent member of the Laophontidae from shell gravel in the East Sea, South Korea, including a review of Folioquinpes Fiers & Rutledge, 1990 (Copepoda, Harpacticoida). ZooKeys, 775, 15-46. DOI:10.3897/zookeys.775.26404

Fuentes-Reinés, J. M. & Suárez-Morales, E. (2017). A new species of Echinolaophonte and record of E. armiger (gurney, 1927). (Crustacea, Copepoda, Harpacticoida, Laophontidae) from the Caribbean with a key to species. Zookeys, 722, 19-36. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.722.14560

Callens, M., Gheerardyn, H., Ndaro, S.G.M., De Troch, M. & Vanreusel, A. (2012). Harpacticoid copepod colonization of coral fragments in a tropical reef lagoon (Zanzibar, Tanzania). Journal of Marine Biology Association United Kingdom. 92(7), 1535-1545. DOI: 10.1017/S0025315411001597

Lee, J.M. & Chang, C. Y. (2008). A new species of the rarely known genus Apolethon (Copepoda, Harpacticoida, Laophontidae) from brackish waters of Korea. Animal Cells System. 12(4), 249-259. DOI: 10.1080/19768354.2008.9647180

Gómez, S. & Morales-Serna, F. N. (2013). On a small collection of Laophontidae T. Scott (Copepoda: Harpacticoida) from Mexico. I. New species and new records of Laophonte Philippi and Paralaophonte Lang. Journal of Natural History, 47(5-12), 329-380. DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2012.757657

Huys, R. (1990). A new family of harpacticoid copepods and an analysis of the phylogenetic relationships within the Laophontoidea T. Scott. Amsterdam Expeditions to theWest Indian Islands, Report 64, Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde, 60 (2): 79-120.

Walter, T. C. & Boxshall, G. (2018). World of Copepods database. Laophonte Philippi, 1840. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at: on 2018-12-23

Huys, R. (2001). Copepoda - Harpacticoida. In Costello, M.J. et al. (Ed.), European register of marine species: a check-list of the marine species in Europe and a bibliography of guides to their identification. Collection Patrimoines Naturels, 50: pp. 268-280.

Nicholls, A. G. (1940). Marine harpacticoids and cyclopoids from the shores of the St. Lawrence, 2. Université Laval. pp.1-315

Lang, K. Monographie der Harpacticiden, vol. 1-2. Hakan Ohlsson's Boktryckeri, Lund; reprinted Nordiska Bokhandeln, Stockholm. 1:1-896, figs. 1-361; 2:897-1683, figs. 362-610, maps 1-378. (reprinted 1976)

Ahmad, Z., Kassim, Z., Shammodin, M.S. Ayob, A.F. & A.A. Chan. (2016, November). Ecological survey on coral bleaching using drone aerial photo at Tioman Island, Malaysia. Poster session presented at the Ecology Seminar Malaysia, Putrajaya International Convention Center, Putrajaya.

Zaleha, K., Hazwani, H. H., Zainal S. & Ishak, N. H. A. (2018). Report on five species of harpacticoid copepods from vegetative area of Sungai Pulai, Johor. Malaysian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Sciences, 14 (2), 284-288.

WoRMS, World Register of Marine Species, Available from 2017.

Lang, K. (1965). Copepoda Harpacticoida from the Californian Pacific Coast. Stockhom : Kungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademiens Handlingar..

Ishak, N.H.A. & Zaleha, K. 2009. Taxanomy of a benthic copepod: Methamphiascopsis hirsutus (Thompson & A. Scott, 1903) (harpaticoida: Diosaccidae) from Bidong Island, Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Microscopy, 5(1), 36-41.

Huys, R., Boxshall, G. A., Gee, J.M., Moore, C.G. & Hamond, R. (1996). Marine and brackish water harpacticoid copepods, Part 1. London, UK : Linnean Society of London and the Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association.

Wells, J. B. J. (2007). An annotated checklist and keys to the species of Copepoda Harpacticoida (Crustacea). Zootaxa, 1568(1), 1-872.

Fiers, F. (1986). Amsterdam Expeditions to the West Indian Islands, Report 51. Harpacticoid copepods from the West Indian Islands: Darcythompsoniidae (Copepoda, Harpacticoida). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde, 56(2), 282-290.

Gomez, S. & Boyko, C. B. (2006). On a small collection of harpacticoids from Easter Island: the family Laophontidae T. Scott (Crustacea: Copepoda: Harpacticoida). Zootaxa, 1352, 3-70.

Zaleha, K. (2008). A pictoral guide to some marine harpaticoid copepod of Malaysia. Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu: UMT Publisher.

Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Mumby, P. J., Hooten, A. J., Steneck, R. S., Greenfield, P., Gomez, E., ... Knowlton, N. (2007). Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification. Science, 318(5857), 1737-1742. DOI:


Callens, M., Gheerardyn, H., Ndaro, S. G. M., De Troch, M. & Vanreusel, A. (2011). Harpacticoid copepod colonization of coral fragments in a tropical reef lagoon (Zanzibar, Tanzania). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK, 92(7), 1-11. DOI:10.1017/S0025315411001597