The present work provides a first description of three planktonic larval stages of Chorismus tuberculatus which were obtained from plankton samples collected in the south-western Atlantic during the expeditions of the RVs ‘Walther Herwig’ and ‘Shinkai Maru’ in 1978 and 1979, respectively. Three early developmental stages of C. tuberculatus are described and compared with those of the second species of this genus, C. antarcticus which is known to be distributed in the southern Atlantic Ocean and Antarctica. Both species are distinguishable by the presence/absence of supraorbital spines at the carapace, an anal spine and the exopodite on pereiopod 4. The rostrum is less developed in C. tuberculatus, the shape of the somites is less pronounced, and the number of posterior spines at the telson is lower than in C. antarcticus. Due to an abbreviated larval development as a physiological adaptation to it wider distribution into the Polar region, we assume C. antarcticus to have phylogenetically separated from C. tuberculatus, represented by the well developed first larval stages in contrast to that of the species described herein.