seen? Often seen on our Northern shores, usually only by
the bioluminescence they produce.
What are mussel shrimps? They are crustaceans like crabs
and prawns. But while crabs and prawns belong to Class Malacostraca,
Order Decapoda, mussel shrimps belong
to Class Ostracoda. These tiny animals are poorly known. They are
also sometimes called seed shrimps.
Features: 0.1-0.5cm. The
body is enclosed in a two-part, hinged, hard translucent 'shell',
somewhat like a clam. The shell is shed with each moult. It usually
has a pair of long and hairy antennae. The antennae are used for swimming,
crawling or burrowing.
Some can produce a blue luminous light when disturbed. And some use
the bioluminescence to signal to mates, much as fireflies do.
In WWII, they were collected, ground up and used as a light source
by Japanese soldiers.
do they eat? The
various species may be filter feeders, herbivores, predators and scavengers.
Eating or being eaten by a worm?
Pulau Sekudu, Aug 05
Again seen with a worm.
Chek Jawa, Jul 05
- Jones Diana
S. and Gary J. Morgan, 2002. A Field Guide to Crustaceans of
Australian Waters. Reed New Holland. 224 pp.
- Edward E.
Ruppert, Richard S. Fox, Robert D. Barnes. 2004. Invertebrate
Brooks/Cole of Thomson Learning Inc., 7th Edition. pp. 963