Egg production, growth and development rates of Oithona similis were measured in the laboratory as a function of food concentration and composition. On an optimum diet, development is isochronal and growth is near exponential. The maximum juvenile growth rate at 15 degree C (0.2 day-1) is similar to juvenile growth in calanoid copepods. The maximum weight-specific egg production rate (0.1 day-1), on the other hand, is substantially less than in free-spawning calanoids, but similar to that in egg-carrying calanoids. In the Kattegat, Oithona spp. egg production is strongly limited by food during summer and controlled by temperature during winter. The seasonal signal in fecundity and population biomass is much weaker than in the co-occurring free-spawning calanoid genera, where fecundity and population biomass undergo dramatic seasonal variation.