PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sea Centipede 

Haliophasma pugnatum Poore, 1975

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Head wider than long, strongly pitted dorsally and laterally; rostrum broad, rounded-truncate, longer than anterolateral lobes; cheek not distinct from lobes, shallowly curved ventral margin; eyes dark. Pereon with strong dorsolateral grooves complicated by pitting, extensively pitted dorsally and laterally. Pereonite 1 with obsotetely bilobed ventral keel, not produced anteriorly. Pereonites 4-6 with transverse step between major part of dorsal surface and the anterior depressed area which bears 4 large pits; dorsal pit a large keyhole-shaped notch at midpoint of this step. Pleonites 1-5 with small epimera, dorsolateral groove distinct, complicated by pits ,and not reaching back to posterior margin; pitted laterally but free of pits mid-dorsally. Pleonite 6 not separate from telson middorsally. Telson thick, especially terminally; 3 similar, low, smooth ridges (1 median, 2 lateral) separated by wide shallow, pitted depressions along most of length of telson and meeting anteriorly on a smooth pIane; deep, elongate slit at base of this plane near fusion with pleonite 6; narrowly rounded terminally. Uropod peduncle with a rounded medial lobe, endopod not reaching to end of telson, elongate, sharply rounded terminally, concave medial margin; exopods much exceeded by teIson dorsally and widely separate, dorsal margin sinuous, rounded posteriorly, little longer than peduncle.

Antenna 2, article 2 very short, dorsal flange rounded, much less than half width of front of head; flagellum of 6 articles, shorter than peduncle article 5. Mandible with a prominent, blunt molar lacking accessory tooth; palp reaching to about end of incisor, article 2 the longest with a single subterminal seta, article 3 narrow with a transverse row of 4 setae. Maxilla very stout, tapering to an almost straight, large toothed end; 5 hooks and 2 spines. Maxilliped articles 2, 3 broad, laterally produced; article 3 rounded terminally, 3 setae on medial margin, ventral face with 1 proximal seta, 1 on distal suture and 1 near outer distal corner; article 4 large, oval, subterminal, well exceeding 3, with 5 setae. Pereopod 1 with straight, blade-like palm, strongly inclined to axis of limb, few medial setae and lateral setae near palm edge; dactylus stout, unguis 0.25 its length.

Source: Poore, G.C.B. (1975) Australian species of Haliophasma (Crustacea: Isopoda: Anthuridae). Records of the Australian Museum, 29, 503-533.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Peracarida
Order:
Isopoda
Suborder:
Cymothoida
Superfamily:
Anthuroidea
Family:
Anthuridae
Genus:
Haliophasma
Species:
pugnatum

General Description

Head wider than long; rostrum broad, rounded-truncate, longer than anterolateral lobes; pereon and pleon strongly pitted or scultpured dorsally and laterally. Palm of first leg strongly oblique.

Biology

This isopod is an active predator that uses its hook-like hands to grasp its prey and its biting mouthparts to make a meal of it. Males have longer antennae and larger eyes than juveniles or females and can swim in search of mates. The Anthuridae and similar families are common and diverse on sandy and muddy sediments and can build tubes.

Habitat

Muddy to coarse sand sediments, at depths of 0-16 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Microcrustaceans Isopods

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

11.5 mm

Diet

Organic matter

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

MoV 1681

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, Sea Centipede, Haliophasma pugnatum, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5301

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