Caprellid amphipods (Skeleton shrimp)
2005 Mary Jo Adams
spite of their common name "skeleton shrimp", these small crustaceans
are not shrimp, but belong to the order Amphipoda. They have
an appearance akin to that of walking stick insects and move in
inchworm fashion. Although some species may reach a length
of 2 inches, many are much smaller and you'll have to look closely
in order to find them. Be on the lookout for skeleton
shrimp on both sandy and rocky shores where they may be clinging
to eelgrass, hydroids, or seaweed.
utilize a variety of feeding strategies. Some species use
their antenna for filter feeding or scraping diatoms or detritus
from the substrate. Others are predators or scavengers and
consume small animals. Caprellids are prey for fish, brooding
anemones ( Epiactis prolifera ), and lion nudibranchs (
Melibe leonina ).
This page was created by Mary Jo Adams on 11/19/05.