Overview

Brief Summary

Fossil species

recent & fossil

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

The Ostracoda (ostracods) are a group of tiny bivalved  (i.e. with a hinged two-part shell) crustaceans that includes both freshwater and marine forms. They are abundant worldwide in virtually all types of aquatic environments and are known to depths of 7,000 m in the sea. Some are commensal on other crustaceans or on echinoderms. Ostracods are mostly between 0.1 and 2.0 mm, but a few are larger (Gigantocypris reaches 32 mm!). Body segmentation is reduced in ostracods relative to most other crustaceans. There are around 13,000 described extant species of ostracods and the group has a rich fossil record going back to the Ordovician (Brusca and Brusca 2003).  

Most ostracods are benthic crawlers or burrowers, but many are planktonic suspension-feeders and a few are terrestrial in moist habitats. One species (Sheina orri) is known to be parasitic on fish gills.

(Brusca and Brusca 2003)

Some ostracod species are sexual (producing young from fertilized eggs) and others are asexual (with their offspring developing from unfertlized eggs). Eggs typically are deposited and develop outside the body, but some (especially marine) species have "brood pouches" in which the eggs develop and from which newly hatched nauplii are released. Delorme (2001) provides a detailed account of ostracod biology, with a focus on the freshwater fauna of North America.

  • Brusca, R.C. and G.J. Brusca. 2003. Invertebrates, 2nd ed. Sinauer, Sunderland, Massachusetts.
  • Delorme, L.D. 2001. Ostracoda. Pp. 811-848 in: Thorp. J.H. and Covich, A.P., eds. Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates, 2nd ed. Academic Press, San Diego.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Leo Shapiro

Supplier: Leo Shapiro

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Sexual Dimorphism

Males slightly larger than females; male fifth limb palps enlarged for copulation; females have a protruding genital lobe.
Creative Commons — CC0 1.0 Universal

Source: Fairbairn, 2013

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Associations

Animal / parasite / endoparasite
cystacanth of Neoechinorhynchus rutili endoparasitises Ostracoda

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Animal / predator
bladder of Utricularia vulgaris sens.lat. is predator of Ostracoda

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Known predators

  • S. W. Nixon and C. A. Oviatt, Ecology of a New England salt marsh, Ecol. Monogr. 43:463-498, from p. 491 (1973).
  • G. E. Walsh, An ecological study of a Hawaiian mangrove swamp. In: Estuaries, G. H. Lauff, Ed. (AAAS Publication 83, Washington, DC, 1967), pp. 420-431, from p. 429.
  • G. Fryer, The trophic interrelationships and ecology of some littoral communities of Lake Nyasa, Proc. London Zool. Soc. 132:153-281, from p. 218 (1959).
  • K. Aulio, K. Jumppanen, H. Molsa, J. Nevalainen, M. Rajasilta, I. Vuorinen, Litoraalin merkitys Pyhajarven kalatuotannolle, Sakylan Pyhajarven Tila Ja Biologinen Tuotanto (Lounais-Suomen Vesiensuojeluyhdistys R. Y., Turku, Finland, 1981) 47:173-176.
  • E. A. Shushkina and M. E. Vinogradov, Trophic relationships in communities and the functioning of marine ecosystems: II. Some results of investigations on the pelagic ecosystem in tropical regions of the ocean. In: Marine Production Mechanisms, M. J. Dun
  • D. J. W. Moriarty, J. P. E. C. Darlington, I. G. Dunn, C. M. Moriarty and M. P. Tevlin, Feeding and grazing in Lake George, Uganda, Proc. Roy. Soc. B. 184:299-319 (1973).
  • W. E. Ricker, 1934. An ecological classification of certain Ontario streams. Univ. Toronto Studies, Biol. Serv. 37, Publ. Ontario Fish. Res. Lab. 49:7-114, from pp. 78, 89.
  • W. E. Ricker, 1934. An ecological classification of certain Ontario streams. Univ. Toronto Studies, Biol. Serv. 37, Publ. Ontario Fish. Res. Lab. 49:7-114, from pp. 105-106.
  • G. Fryer, The trophic interrelationships and ecology of some littoral communities of Lake Nyasa, Proc. London Zool. Soc. 132:153-281, from p. 217 (1959).
  • Christian RR, Luczkovich JJ (1999) Organizing and understanding a winter’s seagrass foodweb network through effective trophic levels. Ecol Model 117:99–124
  • Hall SJ, Raffaelli D (1991) Food-web patterns: lessons from a species-rich web. J Anim Ecol 60:823–842
  • Huxham M, Beany S, Raffaelli D (1996) Do parasites reduce the chances of triangulation in a real food web? Oikos 76:284–300
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© SPIRE project

Source: SPIRE

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Known prey organisms

Ostracoda (Ostracods) preys on:
detritus
Aufwuchs
algae
phytoplankton
bacteria
protozoa
Mysidacea
Ostracoda
Euphausiacea
Hyperiidea
decomposer
Bacillariophyceae
Microfauna
POM

Based on studies in:
USA: Rhode Island (Marine)
Malawi, Lake Nyasa (Lake or pond)
Finland (Lake or pond, Littoral)
Pacific (Marine, Tropical)
Uganda, Lake George (Lake or pond)
Canada: Ontario, Mad River (River)
USA: Florida (Estuarine)
Scotland (Estuarine)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • S. W. Nixon and C. A. Oviatt, Ecology of a New England salt marsh, Ecol. Monogr. 43:463-498, from p. 491 (1973).
  • G. Fryer, The trophic interrelationships and ecology of some littoral communities of Lake Nyasa, Proc. London Zool. Soc. 132:153-281, from p. 218 (1959).
  • K. Aulio, K. Jumppanen, H. Molsa, J. Nevalainen, M. Rajasilta, I. Vuorinen, Litoraalin merkitys Pyhajarven kalatuotannolle, Sakylan Pyhajarven Tila Ja Biologinen Tuotanto (Lounais-Suomen Vesiensuojeluyhdistys R. Y., Turku, Finland, 1981) 47:173-176.
  • E. A. Shushkina and M. E. Vinogradov, Trophic relationships in communities and the functioning of marine ecosystems: II. Some results of investigations on the pelagic ecosystem in tropical regions of the ocean. In: Marine Production Mechanisms, M. J. Dun
  • D. J. W. Moriarty, J. P. E. C. Darlington, I. G. Dunn, C. M. Moriarty and M. P. Tevlin, Feeding and grazing in Lake George, Uganda, Proc. Roy. Soc. B. 184:299-319 (1973).
  • W. E. Ricker, 1934. An ecological classification of certain Ontario streams. Univ. Toronto Studies, Biol. Serv. 37, Publ. Ontario Fish. Res. Lab. 49:7-114, from pp. 78, 89.
  • G. Fryer, The trophic interrelationships and ecology of some littoral communities of Lake Nyasa, Proc. London Zool. Soc. 132:153-281, from p. 217 (1959).
  • Christian RR, Luczkovich JJ (1999) Organizing and understanding a winter’s seagrass foodweb network through effective trophic levels. Ecol Model 117:99–124
  • Hall SJ, Raffaelli D (1991) Food-web patterns: lessons from a species-rich web. J Anim Ecol 60:823–842
  • Huxham M, Beany S, Raffaelli D (1996) Do parasites reduce the chances of triangulation in a real food web? Oikos 76:284–300
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© SPIRE project

Source: SPIRE

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records:4607
Specimens with Sequences:2597
Specimens with Barcodes:2201
Species:232
Species With Barcodes:181
Public Records:2143
Public Species:86
Public BINs:235
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Barcode data

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!