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A Class in the Kingdom Animalia.


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The Class Malacostraca is further organized into finer groupings including:


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Amphionides reynaudii is the sole representative of the order Amphionidacea, and is a small (less than one inch long) planktonic crustacean found throughout the world's tropical oceans, mostly in shallow waters. [more]


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]




Bathynellacea is an order of crustaceans which live interstitially in groundwater. Some species can tolerate low salt concentrations, and at least one African species is a thermophile, living in hot springs and tolerating temperatures up to 55 ?C (131 ?F). Bathynellaceans are minute, blind, worm-like animals with short, weak legs, reaching a maximum size of 3.4 millimetres (0.13 in). They are found on every continent except Antarctica, although they are missing from some islands, including Fiji, New Caledonia and the Caribbean islands. There are two families, and Parabathynellidae; a third family, "Leptobathynellidae", is considered a synonym of Parabathynellidae. [more]


Cumacea is an order of small marine crustaceans, occasionally called hooded shrimp. Their unique appearance and uniform body plan makes them easy to distinguish from other crustaceans. [more]


The decapods or Decapoda (literally "ten-footed") are an order of crustaceans within the class Malacostraca, including many familiar groups, such as crayfish, crabs, lobsters, prawns and shrimp. Most decapods are scavengers. It is estimated that the order contains nearly 15,000 species in around 2,700 genera, with approximately 3,300 fossil species. Nearly half of these species are crabs, with the shrimp (?3000 species) and Anomura (including hermit crabs, porcelain crabs, squat lobsters: c.?2500 species), making up the bulk of the remainder. The earliest fossil decapod is the Devonian Palaeopalaemon. [more]


Krill is the common name given to the order Euphausiacea of shrimp-like marine crustaceans. Also known as euphausiids, these small invertebrates are found in all oceans of the world. The common name krill comes from the Norwegian word , meaning "young fry of fish", which is also often attributed to other species of fish. [more]


Isopods are an order of peracarid crustaceans, including familiar animals such as woodlice and pill bugs. The name Isopoda derives from the Greek roots (iso-, meaning "same") and p?d?? (podos, meaning "foot"). The fossil record of isopods dates back to the Carboniferous period (in the US Pennsylvanian epoch), at least 300 million years ago. [more]


Leptostraca (from the Greek words for thin and shell) is an order of small, marine crustaceans. Its members, including the well-studied Nebalia, occur throughout the world's oceans and are usually considered to be filter-feeders. It is the only extant order in the subclass Phyllocarida. They are believed to represent the most primitive members of their class, the Malacostraca, and first appear in the fossil record during the Cambrian period. [more]


Lophogastrida is an order of malacostracan crustaceans in the superorder Peracarida. They are shrimp-like animals that mostly inhabit the relatively deep pelagic waters of the oceans throughout the world. [more]


Mictacea is an order of crustaceans, erected for six species of small shrimp-like animals of the deep sea and anchialine caves. [more]


Mysida is a group of small, shrimp-like crustaceans, an order in the malacostracan superorder Peracarida. Their common name opossum shrimps stems from the presence of a brood pouch, or marsupium, in females. Mysids are mostly found in marine waters throughout the world, but are also important in some fresh- and brackish-water ecosystems of the Northern hemisphere. Some mysids are cultured for experimental purposes and as food source for other cultured marine organisms. [more]








Mantis shrimp or stomatopods are marine crustaceans, the members of the order Stomatopoda. They are neither shrimp nor mantids, but receive their name purely from the physical resemblance to both the terrestrial praying mantis and the shrimp. They may reach 30 centimetres (12 in) in length, although exceptional cases of up to 38 cm (15 in) have been recorded. The carapace of mantis shrimp covers only the rear part of the head and the first four segments of the thorax. Mantis shrimp appear in a variety of colors, from shades of browns to bright neon colors. Although they are common animals and among the most important predators in many shallow, tropical and sub-tropical marine habitats they are poorly understood as many species spend most of their life tucked away in burrows and holes. [more]






Thermosbaenacea is a group of crustaceans that live in thermal springs in fresh water, brackish water and anchialine habitats. They have occasionally been treated as a distinct superorder (Pancarida), but are generally considered to belong to the Peracarida. Due to their troglobitic lifestyle, thermosbaenaceans lack visual pigments and are therefore blind. [more]

At least 19 species and subspecies belong to the Order Thermosbaenacea.

More info about the Order Thermosbaenacea may be found here.


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Last Revised: October 03, 2013
2013/10/03 16:02:57