Oediceroides calmani, copyright Cédric d’Udekem d’Acoz.

Belongs within: Eumalacostraca.

Burrowing beaky amphipods
Published 3 October 2011
Oediceroides emarginatus, photographed by Gauthier Chapelle.

I’ve been out in the field for a couple of weeks, hence the momentary absence of regular posts. But I have returned, and shall kick off with a brief introduction to the Oedicerotidae.

The oedicerotids are another cluster within the systematic morass that is the gammaridean amphipods. Members of the Oedicerotidae are marine benthic burrowing forms, appropriately solidly built (for an amphipod, at least), and most readily distinguished from most other gammarideans by their particularly long fifth pereiopods (the last pair of legs on the main body) (Barnard 1969). They also usually have a long peduncle on the third uropods (the ‘tail’ appendages), though one distinctive genus Metoediceros lacks the third uropod entirely (Barnard 1974). In many oedicerotids, the eyes have also moved upwards to become coalesced along the dorsal midline and the head often possesses a prominent rostrum. However, these features are absent from a number of Southern Hemisphere and deep-sea taxa (the latter of which generally lack eyes altogether).

Dorsal view of the head of Monoculodes borealis, showing the coalescent eyes, from Andrey Vedenin.

Oedicerotids of the genus Synchelidium have been shown to be predators of harpacticoid copepods (Yu & Suh 2006). The abundance of this food appears to determine their reproductive behaviour, as females produce larger broods in the spring when harpacticoids are more abundant than in the fall.

Systematics of Oedicerotidae
|--Oediceroides Stebbing 1888 [incl. Lopiceros Barnard 1961, Oediceropsoides Shoemaker 1925]B69
| |--*O. rostrata (Stebbing 1883) [=Oediceropsis rostrata]B69
| |--O. apicalisB69
| |--O. brevirostris Schellenberg 1931B69
| |--O. calmaniN38
| |--O. cinderellaN38
| |--O. cystiferaB69
| |--O. emarginatus Nicholls 1938N38
| `--O. similis Nicholls 1938N38
|--Perioculodes Sars 1895B69
| `--*P. longimanus (Bate & Westwood 1868) [=Monoculodes longimanus]B69
|--Pontocrates Boeck 1871B69
| |--*P. norvegicus (Grube 1864)B69, BD95 [=Oedicerus norvegicusB69]
| |--P. altamarinus (Bate & Westwood 1862)BD95
| `--P. arenarius (Bate 1858) [=Kroyera arenaria]B69
|--Synchelidium Sars 1895B69
| |--*S. haplocheles (Grube 1864) [=Kroyeria haplocheles]B69
| |--S. lenorostralum Hirayama 1986HM03
| |--S. maculatum Stebbing 1906BD95
| `--S. trioostegitumYS06
|--Westwoodilla Bate 1862 [=Westwoodia Bate 1857 non Brullé 1846; incl. Halimedon Boeck 1871]B69
| |--*W. caecula (Bate 1857) [=*Westwoodia caecula]B69
| |--W. acutifronsB69
| `--W. rectirostris (Della Valle 1893)BD95
|--Oediceros Krøyer 1842B69
| `--*O. saginatus Krøyer 1842B69
|--Aceroides Sars 1895 [incl. Aceropsis Sars 1895, Patoides Barnard 1964]B69
| |--*A. latipes (Sars 1882) [=Halicreion latipes]B69
| `--A. limicola Barnard 1925B69
|--Paroediceroides Schellenberg 1931B69
| `--*P. sinuata Schellenberg 1931B69
|--Oediceropsis Liljeborg 1865B69
| |--*O. brevicornis Liljeborg 1865B69
| `--O. proxima Chevreux 1908B69
|--Oedicerina Stephensen 1931B69
| `--*O. ingolfi Stephensen 1931B69
|--Acanthostepheia Boeck 1871B69
| |--*A. malmgreni (Goës 1866) [=Amphithonotus malmgreni]B69
| `--A. pulchraS00
|--Arrhis Stebbing 1906 [=Aceros Boeck 1861 (preoc.)]B69
| `--*A. phyllonyx (Sars 1858) [=Leucothoe phyllonyx, *Aceros phyllonyx]B69
|--Anoediceros Pirlot 1932B69
| `--*A. hanseni Pirlot 1932B69
|--Paroediceros Sars 1895B69
| `--*P. lynceus (Sars 1858) [=Oediceros lynceus]B69
|--Arrhinopsis Stappers 1911B69
| `--*A. longicornis Stappers 1911B69
|--Bathymedon Sars 1895B69
| `--*B. longimanus (Boeck 1871) [=Halimedon longimanus]B69
|--Carolobatea Stebbing 1899B69
| `--*C. schneideri (Stebbing 1888) [=Halimedon schneideri]B69
|--Gulbarentsia Stebbing 1894 [=Barentsia Stebbing 1894 non Hincks 1880]B69
| `--*G. hoeki (Stebbing 1894) [=*Barentsia hoeki]B69
|--Halicreion Boeck 1871B69
| `--*H. aequicornis (Norman 1869) [=Oediceros aequicornis]B69
|--Monoculopsis Sars 1895B69
| `--*M. longicornis (Boeck 1871) [=Monoculodes longicornis]B69
|--Paraperioculodes Barnard 1931B69
| `--*P. brevimanus Barnard 1931B69
`--Perioculopsis Schellenberg 1925B69
`--*P. lophopus Schellenberg 1925B69

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BD95] Bakalem, A., & J.-C. Dauvin. 1995. Inventaire des crustacés amphipodes (Gammaridea, Caprellidea, Hyperiidea) des costes d’Algérie: essai de synthèse. Mésogée 54: 49–62.

[B69] Barnard, J. L. 1969. The families and genera of marine gammaridean Amphipoda. United States National Museum Bulletin 271: i–vi, 1–535.

Barnard, J. L. 1974. Evolutionary patterns in gammaridean Amphipoda. Crustaceana 27 (2): 137–146.

[HM03] Hanamura, Y., & M. Matsuoka. 2003. Feeding habits of the sand shrimp, Crangon uritai Hayashi & Kim, 1999, in the central Seto Inland Sea, Japan. Crustaceana 76 (8): 1017–1024.

[N38] Nicholls, G. E. 1938. Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911–1914. Under the Leadership of Sir Douglas Mawson, O.B.E., B.E., D.Sc., F. R. S. Scientific Reports. Series C—Zoology and Botany vol. 2 pt 4. Amphipoda Gammaridea. David Harold Paisley, Government Printer: Sydney (Australia).

[S00] Stebbing, T. R. R. 1900. Arctic Crustacea: Bruce collection. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 7, 5: 1–16.

[YS06] Yu, O. H., & H.-L. Suh. 2006. Life history and reproduction of the amphipod Synchelidium trioostegitum (Crustacea, Oedicerotidae) on a sandy shore in Korea. Marine Biology 150: 141–148.

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