A small tadpole shaped cumacean, up to 22 mm long but usually smaller. The carapace is a large, broad, shield-like structure covering the head and part of the thorax. The carapace is produced into lateral folds that enclose the anterior appendages of the animal. On the most forward part of the carapace is a projection called a pseudorostrum formed by two adjioning points (the pseudorastal lobes). The pseudorostrum is horizontal. The females carapace has a double row of forward pointing denticles on the sides. A males carapace does not have denticles except near the carinae. There is a single small eye present behind the pseudorostrum. Behind the carapace there are five thoracic segments. There are three pairs of leg like structures on the rear of the thoracic region. The abdomen consists of six cylindrical segments (pleonites). Attached to the last pleonite is a long pointed strucutre called a telson, with 10-15 or sometimes more pairs of lateral spines. The telson is longer than the two structures on each side. These three long structures attatched to the last segment forming a fork like tail.Feeds on micro-organisms and organic matter from the bottom deposit. Represented in north west Europe by subspecies typica.
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