Opossum shrimp (Bermudamysis speluncola)

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Opossum shrimp, dorsal view
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Opossum shrimp fact file

Opossum shrimp description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumArthropoda
ClassCrustacea
OrderMysidacea
FamilyMysidae
GenusBermudamysis (1)

The opossum shrimp has a slightly translucent outer body covering (integument) with an intense red tint. The eyes are short and cylindrical, with the visible part being golden-brown, and the first antenna has more than 15 fine, closely gathered hair-like structures (setae) and a long flagellum. The fourth and fifth walking limbs (pereiopods) are very long with four segments, while the first three are shorter and thicker, with just three segments. The female is slightly larger than the male (2).

Size
Length: 2.3 - 3.0 mm (2)
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Opossum shrimp biology

Nothing is known about the biology of this species.

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Opossum shrimp range

Recorded from Green Bay, Castle Grotto, Cherry Pit, Palm, Walsingham, Leamington and Grenadier Pool Caves, Bermuda (2).

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Opossum shrimp habitat

Always found in close proximity to the surface of silty sediments of anchialine limestone caves, at depths from 0.5 to 16 m (2).

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Opossum shrimp status

Classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List 2006 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Critically Endangered

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Opossum shrimp threats

The threats to this species are unknown.

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Opossum shrimp conservation

There are currently no conservation measures underway targeting this species.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For more information on this opossum shrimp see:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
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Glossary

Anchialine
Coastal bodies of standing waters that have no surface connections to the ocean but display both tidal fluctuations and salinity ranges characteristic of fresh and brackish waters, indicating the presence of subsurface connections to the watertable and ocean.
Flagellum
A long, whip-like appendage used by many microscopic organisms for locomotion and feeding.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (January, 2007)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Anchialine Caves and Cave Fauna of the World (February, 2007)
    http://www.tamug.edu/cavebiology/fauna/mysids/B_speluncola.html
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Image credit

Opossum shrimp, dorsal view  
Opossum shrimp, dorsal view

© Dr. Thomas M. Iliffe

Dr. Thomas M. Iliffe
Department of Marine Biology
Texas A&M University at Galveston
5007 Ave. U
Galveston
TX
77551
United States of America
iliffe@cavebiology.com
http://www.cavebiology.com

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