PORT PHILLIP BAY


Amphipod 

Leucothoe commensalis Haswell, 1879

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Peracarida
Order:
Amphipoda
Suborder:
Gammaridea
Family:
Leucothoidae
Genus:
Leucothoe
Species:
commensalis

General Description

Body shiny and very pale cream with black eyes. The first walking legs are unusual in having a claw (or chela) formed from the last and third-to-last segments (unlike in a crab where the last and second-to-last segments form the claw). Up to 15 mm long.

Biology

Leucothoe commensalis lives for most of its life inside the cavities of sea squirts (solitary tunicates) or sponges. Here, presumably it feeds on mucus stolen from its host which offers it protection from predatory fish. The species is widespread on the continental shelf and bays of eastern Australia.

Habitat

Inside cavities of solitary sea squirts or sponges, at depths of 5-60 m.

Sponge gardens

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Microcrustaceans Amphipods

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

15 mm

Diet

Not known

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

sp. MoV 456

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Taylor, J.

Dr. Jo Taylor is the Sciences Collections Online Coordinator at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Poore, G.C.B.

Dr. Gary Poore is Principal Curator Emeritus at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Taylor, J. & Poore, G.C.B., 2011, Amphipod, Leucothoe commensalis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5148

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