Overview

Comprehensive Description

General Description

Caprellid, “Ghost” or “Skeleton” shrimps, so called for their skeletal appearance. Amphipod crustaceans, easily distinguished by the elongate stick-like body form and reduction of the abdominal appendages. Head is generally fused with pereonite 1. Pereopods on first 2 segments (pereonites) are most flexible and called gnathopods; gnathopods 2 being the largest, used in defense, feeding and substrate attachment. In many species pereopods 3 and 4 may also be reduced or absent. Gills on pereonites 3 + 4, rarely on pereonite 2. Pereopods 5 - 7 much smaller than 1 + 2, used for clinging to the substratum. In females, brood plates (öostegites) develop on pereonites 3 + 4. Much remains to be learnt about their biology, ecology and in many cases changing distributions.

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© Ashton, Gail

Source: Caprellids LifeDesk

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Distribution

Atlantic, extending into the Mediterranean and Black Sea, and around southern Africa as far as Mozambique (Griffiths, 1973).
  • Griffiths C.L. (1973). The amphipoda of Southern Africa. I.The Gammaridea and Caprellidea of southern Moçambique Annals of the South African Museum, 60(10): 265-306. figs.4-11.
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© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Northern Norway to the Mediterranean Sea; British Isles; Azores; Canary Islands; Mediterranean and Black Seas; tropical West Africa; South Africa; Brazil; East coast North America; Virgin Islands; Venezuela; Colombia- Amphi Atlantic.

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Source: Caprellids LifeDesk

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Notes

Many Synonyms, see McCain 1968 for full list

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© Ashton, Gail

Source: Caprellids LifeDesk

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Length: 3-25mm. Body smooth. Antenna 1 from ½ to full length of body; antenna 1 approximately equal to antenna 1 peduncle. Gnathopod 1 propodus triangular with 4-5 grasping spines, palm with numerous short spines. Gnathopod 2 carpus shorter than merus, propodus widest proximally with proximal grasping spine and auxilliary spine, palm with numerous short spines and setae. Gills on pereonites 2-4 elliptical, those on 2 being smallest. Pereopods 3 + 4 six-segmented, palm of propodus with 3 short spines; pereopod 5 five-segmented; pereopods 6 + 7 six-segmented with 2 proximal grasping spines, 1 medial spine and 1 distal spine.

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© Ashton, Gail

Source: Caprellids LifeDesk

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 356 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 127 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1.5 - 550
  Temperature range (°C): 6.506 - 27.668
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.161 - 17.311
  Salinity (PPS): 18.292 - 39.053
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.223 - 6.964
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.038 - 1.511
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.805 - 28.168

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1.5 - 550

Temperature range (°C): 6.506 - 27.668

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.161 - 17.311

Salinity (PPS): 18.292 - 39.053

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.223 - 6.964

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.038 - 1.511

Silicate (umol/l): 0.805 - 28.168
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Surface to 660m. Substrate generalist: green and brown algae, sea grass, sponges, hydroids and bryozoans.

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© Ashton, Gail

Source: Caprellids LifeDesk

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Trophic Strategy

Described as predatory on Caprella acanthifera- grasping the prey with gnathopod 2 and seemingly introducing poison from the poison tooth (Costa 1960).

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© Ashton, Gail

Source: Caprellids LifeDesk

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Phtisica marina

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Genomic DNA is available from 1 specimen with morphological vouchers housed at Queensland Museum
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© Ocean Genome Legacy

Source: Ocean Genome Resource

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