Creature Feature No.1

/, Dr Flotjet's Newsletter No. 1/Sea Sapphires:
the electric blue flash in the daytime ocean

Sea Sapphires:
the electric blue flash in the daytime ocean

Copepod fun facts:

  • There are around 13000 species of copepods most of which are invisible to humans.
  • They are dominant members of the zooplankton and a major food source at the base of the oceanic food web.
  • Sea sapphires are copepods of the genus Sapphirina. Males are free living organisms while females and juveniles are parasites that live inside gelatinous organisms called salps.
  • Microscopic structures in the male’s exoskeleton reinforce the reflection of light to produce vivid blue or purple metallic flashes.


Tina Carvalho – MicroAngela

Kaj Maney

Marine Biologist – Plankton Researcher.
Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship CSIRO


Structural Basis for the Brilliant Colors of the Sapphirinid Copepods
Dvir Gur, Ben Leshem, Maria Pierantoni, Viviana Farstey,Dan Oron, Steve Weiner,and Lia Addadi. e Journal of the American Chemical Society 2015, 137, 8408−8411