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A class of arthropods, mainly aquatic gill-breathing animals such as crabs, lobsters and shrimps, usually having two pairs antennae and often a hard carapace or shell.

two body regions; two pairs of antennae; 5 or more pairs of legs; primarily aquatic, few terrestrial.

Classes include crabs, shrimps, lobsters, barnacles, isopods etc. 44,000 described world species.


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The Class Crustacea is further organized into finer groupings including:


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Amphipoda is an order of malacostracan crustaceans with no carapace and generally with laterally compressed bodies. The name amphipoda refers to the different forms of appendages, unlike isopods, where all the thoracic legs are alike. Of the 7,000 species, 5,500 are classified into one suborder, Gammaridea. The remainder are divided into two or three further suborders. Amphipods range in size from 1 to 340 millimetres (0.039 to 13 in) and are mostly detritivores or scavengers. They live in almost all aquatic environments; 750 species live in caves and the order also includes terrestrial animals and sandhoppers such as Talitrus saltator. [more]


Anaspidacea is an order of crustaceans, comprising eleven genera in four families. Species in the family Anaspididae vary from being strict stygobionts (only living underground) to species living in lakes, streams and moorland pools, and are found only in Tasmania. is found in Tasmania and the south-eastern part of the Australian mainland, where they live in the burrows made by crayfish and in caves. The families Psammaspididae and Stygocarididae are both restricted to caves, but Stygocarididae has a much wider distribution than the other families, with Parastygocaris having species in New Zealand and South America as well as Australia; two other genera in the family are endemic to South America, and one, Stygocarella, is endemic to New Zealand. [more]


Anostraca is one of the four orders of crustaceans in the class Branchiopoda; its members are also known as fairy shrimp. They are usually 6?25 mm (0.24?0.98 in) long (exceptionally up to 170 mm or 6.7 in). Most species have 20 body segments, bearing 11 pairs of leaf-like phyllopodia (swimming legs), and the body lacks a carapace. They live in vernal pools and hypersaline lakes across the world, including pools in deserts, in ice-covered mountain lakes and in Antarctica. They swim "upside-down" and feed by filtering organic particles from the water or by scraping algae from surfaces. They are an important food for many birds and fish, and are cultured and harvested for use as fish food. There are 300 species spread across 8 families. [more]


True crabs are decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" (Greek: = short, ???? / ?ura = tail), or where the reduced abdomen is entirely hidden under the thorax. Many other animals with similar names ? such as hermit crabs, king crabs, porcelain crabs, horseshoe crabs and crab lice ? are not true crabs. [more]


A barnacle is a type of arthropod belonging to infraclass Cirripedia in the subphylum Crustacea, and is hence related to crabs and lobsters. Barnacles are exclusively marine, and tend to live in shallow and tidal waters, typically in erosive settings. They are sessile (non-motile) suspension feeders, and have two nektonic (active swimming) larval stages. Around 1,220 barnacle species are currently known. The name "Cirripedia" is Latin, meaning "curl-footed". [more]


Copepods (; meaning "oar-feet") are a group of small crustaceans found in the sea and nearly every freshwater habitat. Some species are planktonic (drifting in sea waters), some are benthic (living on the ocean floor), and some continental species may live in limno-terrestrial habitats and other wet terrestrial places, such as swamps, under leaf fall in wet forests, bogs, springs, ephemeral ponds and puddles, damp moss, or water-filled recesses (phytotelmata) of plants such as bromeliads and pitcher plants. Many live underground in marine and freshwater caves, sinkholes, or stream beds. Copepods are sometimes used as bioindicators. [more]




Podocopida is an order of ostracods in the subclass Podocopa. It is divided into five suborders ? , Cypridocopina, Cytherocopina, Darwinulocopina and Sigilliocopina. It is the most diverse of the four orders of ostracods, and also has a rich fossil record. [more]

At least 2,204 species and subspecies belong to the Order Podocopida.

More info about the Order Podocopida may be found here.


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Last Revised: August 22, 2014
2014/08/22 05:47:39