Euphausiid life histories and distribution in the vicinity of South Georgia were studied from a series of samples taken in April 1980, November–December 1981, and July–August 1983. Size frequency data indicated a two-year life cycle for Euphausia frigida and the possibility of a three-year cycle for E. triacantha. The genus Thysanoessa was represented by a mixture of T. macrura and the dominant T. vicina. A one-year life cycle is proposed for the latter but that of the former is unknown. Spawning in E. frigida and to a lesser extent Thysanoessa spp. commenced as early as July and euphausiid calyptopes were a feature of the plankton for much of the year. E. superba eggs were found in low abundance over the shelf to the north of the island, but no hatched larvae were found. Behaviour patterns such as diurnal and seasonal migration partially confounded attempts to relate euphausiid distribution to environmental features. However calyptopes of most species, were generally more abundant in oceanic water deeper than 500 m and there was limited evidence that in August, E. frigida had commenced spawning in the colder part of the survey area.