Name of plankton: Arietellus spp.
Where sample was found: Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) site, daytime, 450-600m
Project: BIOS-SCOPE zooplankton diel distribution and biodiversity
Photo credit: Leocadio Blanco Bercial, BIOS
What role do these organisms play in the ecosystem: This particular image is a species of Arietellus, a large carnivorous zooplankton that makes a daily migration from the surface waters to great depths during the day. This migration moves carbon from surface waters to the deep sea.
Interesting facts: This photograph was made with a specialized scanner (Zooscan), which allows images to be taken of an entire plankton sample. These can then be run through a set of software tools that, via machine learning, can classify the images into various taxonomic groups and measure their biovolumes, substantially reducing the time it takes to sort and identify zooplankton. This individual was found in a net that contains animals captured from 450-600 m deep!