epimeriidae

2

JEWEL-LIKE CRUSTACEAN FROM THE DEEP SEA

Amphipods are small crustacean that inhabits all acuatic environments, from ocean depths to groundwater, in freshwater systems, also found in caves and sea ice. Their feeding strategies are various: detrital feeders, herbivores, scavengers and suspension feeder, over 800 Species of amphipods are know worldwide.
These amphipods of the families Epimeriidae and Iphimediidae are among the prettiest, these living gems are predominantly red, and fades quicly with increasing depth. They are foud in the Southern Ocean and are tiny, just 2-4cm long.
At 1950 m Epimeria larsi, aka the pink gem holds the deepest known species record for the genus, and was collected from the northern Ross Sea slope.

  • Photo: Top left: Epimeria rimicarinata; Top right: E. larsi; Middle row: E. schiaparelli (named after the photographer); Bottom right: Epimeria robusta. The bottom left image is of a closely related genus, Echiniphimedia, aptly named the ‘prickly’ amphipod. Credit: Stefano Schiaparelli (University of Genoa) and David Bowden (NIWA)/ IPY CAML voyage TAN0802.
  • More NIWA
  • more about Antarctic amphipods

Epimeria rubrieques, aka “The Red Knight”, is a recently discovered species of amphipod in the East Antarctic. It is large for an amphipod, reacing up to 7cm in length. It belongs to the cold water family Paramphithoidae. Although this species is very conspicuous because of its long mid-dorsal teeth, bright pink-red color and large size, it has only been recorded in the Weddell Sea. Observations on the general and feeding behaviour showed the species to be an ambush predator and a weakly motile epibenthic walker, which swims only rarely. So beautiful with their bright pink-red body and vermillion red eyes. <3