Morphological Identification Keys

The following links to webpages provide useful information (species lists, taxonomic keys, monographs) to support and inform the taxonomic identification of zooplankton.


General / Multiple Group Keys

ices plankton idenfitifcation leaflets cover  

ICES Identification sheets for Zooplankton


ID Leaflets for Plankton [web page]:

The page above has direct links to the newest and updated sheets.


You may also want to look at the WGZE identification sheets page (click here).



World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS)


Observatoire Océanologique de Villefranche sur Mer


Census of Marine Zooplankton


Ciliates Keys


Copepods Keys

  • A complete interactive database of all described marine planktonic copepods, including taxonomic classification with references, illustrated and referenced species database and a geographic distribution in the world's oceans and seas, with division in zones and subzones [ ]
  •  Marine Biological Association (MBA, Plymouth - UK) publications (
  1. Pub21b. Identification of the copepodite developmental stages of twenty-six North Atlantic copepods (revised edition)

  2. Pub25. Marine Zooplankton of southern Britain. Part 1: Radiolaria, Heliozoa, Foraminifera, Ciliophora, Cnidaria, Ctenophora, Platyhelminthes, Nemertea, Rotifera and Mollusca

  3. Pub26. Marine Zooplankton of southern Britain. Part 2: Arachnida, Pycnogonida, Cladocera, Facetotecta, Cirripedia and Copepoda

  4. Pub27. Marine zooplankton of southern Britain. Part 3: Ostracoda, Stomatopoda, Nebaliacea, Mysida, Amphipoda, Isopoda, Cumacea, Euphausiacea, Decapoda, Annelida, Tardigrada, Nematoda, Phoronida, Bryozoa, Entoprocta, Brachiopoda, Echinodermata, Chaetognatha, Hemichordata and Chordata


  • Giesbrecht, W., Systematik und Faunistik der Pelagischen Copepoden des Golfes von Neapel und der Angrenzenden Meeres-Abschnitte: Atlas von 54 Tafeln nebst den Tafelerklarungen. Vol. 19 Text (34 MB) and vol. 19 Plates (28.6 MB). 1892, Berlin: Verlag Von R. Friedlander & Sohn. 
  • M. Rose, ed. P. Lechevalier. Vol. 26. 1933, Paris: Fédération Française des Sociétés de Sciences Naturelles. 374 pp. (14.8 MB) [


Coelenterata Keys

Russell, F.S. (1970) The Medusae of the British Isles. Vol.II - Pelagic Scyphozoa, with a supplement to Vol. I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [ ]  



Zooplankton in general

  • World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). An authoritative and comprehensive list of names of marine organisms, including information on synonymy [ ]


Taxonomic techniques