Amphipod means "duel footed", referring to fact that the forward legs differ in form from the rear legs. The group consists of 2 major subgroups, the Gammariids which are most common in association with sea-ice and the sea-bottom, and the Hyperiids that are generally commensals on other organisms. These “trends” are not so obvious in the arctic, with 2 free-living hyperiid species most common, and 2 midwater gammariids often present. The hyperiids are generally present year round in low numbers, and thought to be important items in the diets of fish.
The group ranges from carnivorous to omnivorous in feeding preferences, sometimes acting as scavengers on dead or detrital material. Relatively little is known about them in general, other than basic distribution. They are thought to have a multi-year life cycle in the Arctic.
Page Author: Russ Hopcroft
Created: January 4, 2008