Conflicting reports on the contribution of chemical dispersants on crude oil dispersion toxicity have been published. This can partly be ascribed to the influence of dispersants on the physical properties of the oil in different experimental conditions. In the present study the potential contribution of dispersants to the reproductive effects of dispersed crude oil in the marine copepod Calanus finmarchicus (Gunnerus) was isolated by keeping the oil concentrations and oil droplet size distributions comparable between parallel chemically dispersed (CD, dispersant:oil ratio 1:25) and mechanically dispersed oil (MD, no dispersant) exposures. Female copepods were exposed for 96 h to CD or MD in oil concentration range of 0.2–5.5 mg·L–1 (THC, C5–C36) after which they were subjected to a 25-day recovery period where production of eggs and nauplii were compared between treatments. The two highest concentrations, both in the upper range of dispersed oil concentrations reported during spills, caused a lower initial production of eggs/nauplii for both MD and CD exposures. However, copepods exposed to mechanically dispersed oil exhibited compensatory reproduction during the last 10 days of the recovery period, reaching control level of cumulative egg and nauplii production whereas females exposed to a mixture of oil and dispersant did not.