We measured development, growth and juvenile mortality of the common copepod Temora longicornis on 11 different monospecific diatom diets in order to estimate (1) how common the negative effects of diatoms are on the development of this copepod and (2) whether the arrested development is connected to deleterious polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUA) or food nutritional quality. Four diatom species (Thalassiosira weissflogii, Thalassiosira rotula CCMP1647, Leptocylindricus danicus CCPM469 and Skeletonema costatum CCMP1281) supported complete development, whereas development failed in or before metamorphosis on seven diatom species/strains (Chaetoceros affinis CCMP158, C. decipiens CCMP173, C. socialis, T. rotula CCMP1018, Thalassiosira pseudonana CCMP1010 and CCMP1335). However, four out of these seven species were not ingested by nauplii, either due to morphology (Chaetoceros spp.) or large size (T. pseudonana CCMP1010). The growth rate did not correlate with the ingestion rate of PUA, neither with ingestion of food mineral (nitrogen) nor with biochemical (polyunsaturated fatty acids, sterols) components. We show that, although some diatoms are of inferior food quality, this is unlikely to be connected to toxicity or due to a direct limitation by a single food nutritional compound.