any of numerous tiny marine or freshwater crustaceans of the order (or subclass) Copepoda, lacking compound eyes or a carapace and usually having six pairs of limbs on the thorax, some abundant in plankton and others parasitic on fish.
Origin of copepod
1830–40; < New LatinCopepoda name of the order < Greekkṓpē a handle, oar + -poda-poda
Any of various very small crustaceans of the subclass Copepoda, having an elongated body and a forked tail. Unlike most crustaceans, copepods lack a carapace over the back and do not have compound eyes. They are abundant in both salt and fresh water, and are an important food source for many water animals. Copepods include the water fleas.