Glacial Copepods Glaciella yalensis (Copepoda: Harpacticoida)

The glacial copepods are common species on Himalayan glaciers. This has been found on glaciers in Langang, Hidden Valley, Solu-Khumbu region in Nepal. However, they don't exist on other glaciers than Himalayas. Their size is about 1 mm. If you try to see the ice surface carefully, you might find that small red dots are moving on the ice surface. They tend to appear on glacial surface in the night time, when running melt water become less on glacial surface.

A Glacial Copepod

Yala Glacier, Lantang region in Nepal., where many snow animals can be found.

Copepod movie

Copepods and midges (larva)

A nauplius of the copepod.

Red coppepods and black midge (larva) in melt water pool.


  • Kikuchi, Y., 1994: Glaciella, a new genus of freshwater Canthocampyidae (Copepoda Harpacticoida) from a glacier in Nepal, Himalayas. Hydrobiologia, 192-193: 59-66.
  • Kohshima, S., 1987: Glacial biology and biotic communities. In Kawano, S., Connell, J. H., and Hidaka, T. (eds.), Evolution and Coadaptation in Biotic Communities. Faculty of Science, Kyoto University, 77-92.

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