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Skeleton Shrimp (Family Caprellidae)

Also known as ghost shrimp, skeleton shrimp are not shrimp but are actually a family of amphipods found in oceans worldwide. They are mostly found in low intertidal zones where they inhabit grasses, hydroids and bryozoans and feed on small plankton and food material that pass by, using their gnathopods to ambush them as they swim by. Other species are simple filter feeders which use their antennae as filters.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Malacostraca-Amphipoda-Corophiidea-Caprellida-Caprellidae

Image Source(s)

Caprella kominatoensis

…is a species of skeleton shrimp (Caprellidae) that occurs in waters around Japan and other parts of the North Pacific Ocean. Like other skeleton shrimp C. kominatoensis likely inhabits intertidal zones where it is typically seen on grasses, hydroids and bryozoans where it will feed on small plankton which passes by using its gnathopods (claws) to catch them. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Malacostraca-Amphipoda-Caprellidae-Caprella-C. kominatoensis

Image: RYO SATO

Pariambus typicus

…is a species of skeleton ‘shrimp’ (Caprellidae) which occurs in the Atlantic Ocean from northern Norway south to the Cape Verde Islands and into the Mediterranean Sea and east to Italy. However, it is absent from the Baltic Sea which suggests that it requires water with high salinity. Pariambus typicus is typically found in association with starfish, sea urchins, and occasionally other echinoderms, like brittle stars. Like other skeleton shrimp P. typicus feeds on passing zooplankton which are grasped with is pereopods. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Malacostraca-Amphipoda-Caprellidae-Pariambus-P. typicus

Image: Hans Hillewaert

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