The sphaeromatid crustacean isopod genus Campecopea is revised, a new diagnosis given and the genus Anoplocopea Racovitza, 1907, is placed in synonymy; the type species Campecopea hirsuta is redescribed and Campecopea lusitanica comb. nov. is recorded from the Canary Islands and Azores. The four species of Campecopea differ from each other principally in the presence or absence of a prominent posteriorly directed dorsal process on the male pereonite 6, the ornamentation of the posterior pereonites, the shape of the uropods and also the fine details of the dactylus accessory spine (smooth or serrate). The phylogenetic significance of dorsal process is re-evaluated here, and the character discussed in relation to Campecopea, Dynoides and Clianella, and several other sphaeromatid genera. It is regarded that the interpretation of this character as being of intrinsic generic merit has resulted in the over splitting of several genera and also the creation of paraphyletic genera. It is suggested that reappraisal of sphaeromatid generic characters in cladistic terms is a necessary first step in terms of establishing the monophyly of many sphaeromatid genera.