Mysidacea: Families, Subfamilies and Tribes

Kenneth Meland

University of Bergen
Department of Fisheries and Marine Biology
PO Box 7800
N-5020 Bergen
NORWAY
Phone: +47 55 58 44 86
Fax: +47 55 58 44 50
Email: Kenneth.Meland@ifm.uib.no

Introduction

The following monograph is an illustrated, interactive key on mysidacean families, sub-families, and tribes. Systematic classification is with some modifications based on Tchindonova (1981). Each taxon includes a full description, taxon images and diagnostic characters, accompanied with a list of contained genera and number of species within each group. To make even clearer the already included notes describing character terminolgy and varition within the mysids I will be including images plates for each character and their appurtenant character states. In the next version one will then be able to select character states directly from the illustrations. Also included is a reference list on selected literature useful in identifying mysid species, recent papers concerning Mysidacea systematics, and links to a selection of Mysidacea resources currently on the web.

The Mysidacea are generally considered belonging to the superorder Peracarida. They are shrimplike in appearance, the majority of species being between 5 mm and 25 mm in length, and due to the peracaridian oostegites forming a ventral female marsupium often referred to as "opossum shrimp". Mysids have earlier been allied with decapods, euphasiids, stomatopods, and even nebaliaceans, but are readily distinguished from other shrimplike crustaceans, and also the remaining Peracarida, by the presence of a statocyst in the proximal part of the uropods endopod. Since this balance organ is missing in the "primitive" mysid families, Lophogastridae, Gnathophausiidae, Eucopidae, and also Petalophthalmidae, some confusion can arise, but are still easily distinguished from euphasiids and carideans by the presence of a well developed brood pouch in mature females.

The order Mysidacea currentley includes approximately 160 genera, containing more than 1000 species. Most mysids are free living but a few species, mostly in the tribe Heteromysini, have taken on a commensal habit, often described in association with sea anemones and hermit crabs. The Mysidacea have a worldwide distribution, the majority of species inhabiting coastal and open sea waters, with a few species adapted to continental fresh water. Several taxa have also been described from different groundwater habitats, marine and anchialine caves. In addition to having pelagic forms the majority of mysid species are found associated with the benthic boundry layer, hovering immediately above or resting on the sediment surface.

The majority of Mysidacea are filter feeders and generally regarded as omnivores, feeding on algae, detritus, and zooplankton. Pelagic forms filter particles during swimming while benthic species, common for the tribe Erythropini, have been observed feeding on small particles which they collect by grooming their body surface and legs. In other species tendencies towards a strict carnivorous habit are observed, and then often seen as scavengers, feeding on carcasses of polychaetes, copepods, amphipods and even other mysids, but true predators on zooplankton are also described.

The Mysidacea Delta-database was initiated at the "3rd Crustacean Delta Workshop" and is the first step towards accomplishing a complete electronic monograph of the order Mysidacea. Hopefully, in the near future we will be able to expand this database to include full keys and descriptions on mysid genera and maybe even species. The mysid contribution to "crustacea.net" is not receiving any external financing and future expansion of the Mysidacea-database is therefore completely dependent on direct contributions of additional taxa from mysid taxonomists around the world. Comments, suggestions for improvement, and hopefully aforementioned taxa contributions will be greatly appreciated and is at the moment essential in maintaining the mysid database for "crustacea.net". You can find me at: Kenneth.Meland@ifm.uib.no.

Monographs Monograph and Interactive Keys Interactive Key

Mysidacea Families

Monograph Interactive Key

Australian Mysidacean Species

Monograph Interactive Key

Aberomysini

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Boreomysidae

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Erythropini

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Eucopiidae

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Gnathophausiidae

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Gastrosaccinae

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Heteromysini

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Lepidomysidae

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Leptomysini

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Lophogastridae

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Mancomysini

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Mysidellinae

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Mysimenziesinae

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Mysini

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Petalophthalmidae

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Rhopalophthalminae

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Siriellinae

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Stygiomysidae

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Cite this publication as: Meland, K. (2002 onwards). 'Mysidacea: Families, Subfamilies and Tribes.' Version 1: 2 October 2000. http://crustacea.net/.