Changes in adult weight, lipid and fatty acid composition per lipid class were studied over a complete seasonal cycle in Drepanopus pectinatus Brady. This copepod displayed a strong seasonality in adult individual weight and total lipid content. Stages C3 to adult from a summer cohort were compared in terms of lipid and fatty acid structure. Changes in lipid content were related to wax esters and polar lipids (PL) while triacylglycerols (TAG) and cholesterol remained minor constituents except at the end of winter. Changes in fatty acid composition of different lipid classes showed that food limitation in winter was high enough to affect 22:6n-3 (DHA) content in PL, and provoke accumulation of maximal percentages of bacterial marker as branched acids. Composition of TAG followed closely the changes in trophic interactions as diatom and flagellate markers dominated in spring and summer while bacterial and detritus particle markers dominated in late winter. The composition of wax esters followed the same seasonal succession but with a lower level of turn over time and shifted characteristics (bacterial markers) from winter to spring individuals when compared to TAG. Ontogenetic changes showed high triacylglycerols content in younger C3 stages and increasing wax esters with increasing developmental stages. Fatty acid composition of PL showed low percentages of EPA and DHA in stage C3, and recovery of high levels of DHA for stage C4 or 20:5n-3 (EPA) at stage C5. The same trend was observed for 18:4n-3. The reverse pattern was noted for the n-6 polyunsaturated acids (PUFA) suggesting a greater requirement in younger stages. Fatty acid partitioning between neutral and PL suggested essential fatty acids selective incorporation from neutral classes into membrane lipids.