Crustacea, the Higher Taxa

J.K. Lowry


Leptostraca (Malacostraca)

Description. Head. Rostrum present; head. articulated; eyes stalked; compound, visual elements present, or visual elements absent; ocular scale present, or ocular scale absent; naupliar eyes absent. Antennules (antenna 1) biramous; peduncle and flagellum distinct; endopod well developed; exopod scale-like or plate-like or exopod reduced, vestigial or absent. Antennae (antenna 2) uniramous. Mandible uniramous; palp present. Maxillipeds, absent. Thorax. Carapace present, bivalved, enclosing head and thorax or enclosing head, thorax and part of the abdomen, laterally compressed, smooth. Thorax and abdomen differentiated. Peraeopods (legs) 8 pairs; phyllopodous (broad or narrow); undifferentiated (simple). Abdomen with 8 somites. Epimera absent (check). Pleopods present, 6 pairs. Uropods well developed, 1 pair, positioned terminally or subterminally; rami absent; lanceolate. Telson absent.

Larval development. Epimorphic. Embryos carried in ventral thoracic brood pouch.

Habitat. Marine benthic, occasionally planktonic; free-living.

Remarks. Leptostracans are generally considered to be filter feeders (Mclaughlin, 1980), but they are often taken in baited traps which indicates that they act as at least opportunistic scavengers.

Distribution. Worldwide.

Cite this publication as: Lowry, J.K. (1999 onwards). 'Crustacea, the Higher Taxa: Description, Identification, and Information Retrieval.' Version: 2 October 1999. http://crustacea.net/.