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Males of the calanoid copepod Pleuromamma piseki frequently have a conspicuous spermatophore within their body cavity. This species is a strong vertical migrator and males with spermathophores migrate to slightly shallower nighttime depths than males lacking them. It is suggested that those copepods with spermatophores are ready to mate and that they aggregate near the surface as an adaptation to increase their chances of finding a mate. During matting, this behavior may be superimposed on the other environmental cues which affect depth distributions and may complicate studies designed to determine the causes and benefits of migration patterns.
Limnology and Oceanography