Nauplius (Crustacea) Videos

The nauplius is the most primitive crustacean larval type found in existing crustaceans. It is the first larval stage that emerges from the egg and the earliest free-swimming phase in crustacean development. Generally, it has an oval shaped body, three pairs of appendages, and a single median eye near the front. In terms of sheer numbers, the crustacean nauplius is considered by some to be the most abundant type of multi-cellular animal on earth and is an important food source for fish and predatory invertebrates.

It is widely distributed larval form amongst crustacean species, making the nauplius extremely useful as a key feature that unites the entire subphylum Crustacea. However, many crustaceans have lost this larval stage, or pass through it prior to emerging from the egg.