Mysids: Opossum shrimp


Mysids are small shrimp-like crustaceans that occur in marine, brackish and freshwater from shallow to great depths. They are generally considered benthic or epibenthic, although a few species are truly pelagic, with a few species reported as commensals with hermit crabs or anemones.

Most Arctic mysid species are between 10 and 50 mm in body length. Their semi-transparent bodies are divided into a cephalothorax and an abdomen. As with other peracarids, mysids carry embryos in a brood pouch located in the thorax segments between the legs (hense the name opposum shrimp). Unlike other peracarids, mysids have statocysts (balance organs) in their uropods of the ‘tail’, and lack the ple
Most mysids are omnivorous and feed on algae, detritus and zooplankton, but some scavenge or are cannibalistic. (Pelagic species primarily filter-feed or are predators).

About 1000 species are known worldwide, with only 33 occurring in the Arctic..

Page Author: Bodil Bluhm
Updated: September 20, 2010

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