gammarus featured


Gammarus species lies in the family of Gammaridae. It is an amphipod of the crustacean genus. According to researchers, there are around 200 different species of Gammarus. This makes Gammarus most speciose genera of these kinds. Every sepcie have their own optimal condition that can be in terms of tolerance or salinity.

Gammarus is totally a pure water or we can say fresh water specie. Gammarus species are typically scuds among North America. Its wide range throughout Holarctic. Considerably very little amount of these species are found in Northern hemisphere tropics and in Southern Asia.

Gammarus belongs to the Kingdom of Animalia with the class of Malacostraca. Its phylum is Arthropoda.  These species represent the vital specie in the total aquatic ecosystem.

gammarus feature

Gammarus are shredders and they contribute to the detritus cycle along with microbial loop. Gammarids are carnivores they usually feed on tiny carrion and invertebrates.

Researchers said that due to Gammarus wide distribution, its significance in food and sensitivity at long range of pollutants these species are very vital for accessing the water quality.


Scientific NameGammarus
SynonymRivulogammarus, Sinogammarus

Vernacular Names

Here is the list of names that we use for Gammarus.

  • Chinese Name:  钩虾
  • Korean Name: 감마 러스
  • Japnese Name: ガンマロス
  • Russian Name: Саттагиз
  • Macedonian Name: Гамарус


These species are most often found in rocky, muddy and sandy bottoms. These species normally prefer high-density environment.

gammarus species history

Gammarus is a scientific name given to it in back 1913 these species are commonly found in North Africa and western Europe.

Origin of Gammarus Specie

The origin of Gammarus was from the Iberian peninsula and North Africa. According to the scientific genetic data, the Gammarus evolution was around 6.7 Million years ago.

Fossil Record

Gammarus species is one of the diverse amphipods in the family of Gammaridae. While combining with other species crustacean amphipods are known to be most sensitive invertebrate among all.

These species are used during the investigation of chemical stressors for more than 86 years. Whereas it’s use of ecotoxicological research didn’t really taken-off until the 1970s.

Distinctive features of Gammarus

These individuals are normally white or transparent in color containing green or white stripes on their body. Gammarus have two pairs of antennas connected to their cephalophorax. Such species distinguish from others in the family just because of its flagellum.

These species use the first pair of legs for generating currents in the water in order to bring the food closer to its mouth. Once the food is closer to Gnathopods. It helps them to transfer food from gnathopods to mouth. Gnathopods especially for the sake of grasping food.


Gammarus species are found in drainages of fresh water throughout North-America. It also found in the drainages of united states however it’s still not sure whether they are really from these areas or native species.


Morphologically Gammarus species can only be identified under a microscope. Their penultimate section of the second pair of limbs that are used for feeding has only one group of bristles. These are along the interior side of the margin. whereas on the other side, Gammarus lacustris have two groups of setea.

gammarus specie behavior

Sometimes the members of these family are also called side-swimmers or scuds.

Gammarus Ecology

Gammarus like species consists of colonizing disturbance ecosystems. Cannibalism and intraguild-predation are now commonly found in these species. Gammarus are usually known to be a predator to other similar microvertebrate community.

Recent studies emphasized Gammarus species over fish predation. Researchers new realization approach to Gammarus species are now questioned.

Gammarus Behavior

Gammarus species try to avoid light, therefore, they normally stay beneath small plants, stones or vegetations. They usually stick to the plants or stones to avoid moving through water currents. While swimming these species totally rely on pleopods for their locomotion.

Food Habits

These species belong to the super-order of peracarida. These peracarida’s are the primary users of the freshwater food web. Some isopods belong to omnivores and others are carnivores.

Gammarus species usually prefer benthic water region and their feeding is on zooplankton, detritus, and other similar microplantae. Gammarus are categorized among scavengers as they can eat meat.

Gammarus fossil record

Gammarus species rarely attack living animals or species. They eat newly dead animals to feed. Such species are also known for chewing and eating cotton-linen threads.

Researchers recently realized that the food habits of these species changes throughout the lifecycle. The smaller ones are feeding on detritus whereas the large ones have a varied diet.

Gammarus Primary diet: Carnivores in which they eat noninsects arthropod. Herbivore and Omnivore including detrivores.

Plant as Food The tries to eat leaves, algae, and phytoplankton. Gammarus Animal Food includes carrion, zooplankton and other aquatic crustaceans.  Its other foods include detritus.


Gammarus like species usually prefers clean, unpolluted cold water that is of ponds, pools or of streams and lakes. Their preference is normally on the more oxygenated water that is in shallowed still areas. These areas might include more of vegetation coverage. Gammarus behavior of living in the areas of vegetation is just because they try to avoid light.

Many researchers categorize these species as of cold water species as they survive more in cold temperature. Temperature above 30 degrees will cause death for Gammarus like species. Species belong to these families lives in the Regions of Low temperature and Freshwater. Its range depth is around 0.00 to approx of 9.84ft.

Life Span

According to scientific research, the typical complete lifespan of Gammarus species is one Year and within that lifespan the reproduce once. In recent research found the average lifespan of Gammarus is 2 year. It’s still unclear why there is a conflict between these two types of researches.

Gammarus Behavior

These species usually try to avoid light. So, they tend to hide beneath vegetation to avoid light during the day. Gammarus-species are known for holding the vegetation in order to avoid moving from the stream of water currents.

While swimming these animals totally rely on their pleopods for their locomotion. These species roll-on their body in order to swim in different directions. Therefore, Gammaride species are sometimes called “sideswimmers”.

Gammarus Reproduction System

In these species males normally perform a mating dance in order to attract the female ones. Once the pair is built they grab their partner and swim with her.

Gammarus reproduction

Gammarus use appendages in order to maneuver over her body and to insert the sperm into the brood pouch. Brood pouch is the place in the female body where eggs are fertilized. The mating system of Gammarus species is monogamous. There key reproductive features are seasonal breeding and their sexual fertilization through the ovoviviparous system.


Gammarus FunFacts

Every specie have their own facts and features some of them are informative as well as interesting. Some of them are mentioned below.

Gammarus Infographics


Qamar Islam

Qamar Islam

Qamar ul Islam is a leading content writer at Zipcodezoo with the experience of more than 2 years, previously writing for tape daily, portals Guide. Currently working as an Assignment Editor at Zipcodezoo.

His passion for writing helps people in understanding the content credibility. In addition to writing, Qamar is passionate about doing research on living organisms and keeping its worthy audience well aware of it.

Add comment

Follow Us

Don't be shy, get in touch, We love meeting new people.


Most popular

Most discussed