PORT PHILLIP BAY


Skeleton Louse 

Neastacilla inaequispinosa (Guiler, 1949)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Head with distinct dorsal elevation between eyes. Fusion of head and pereonite 1 without a suture. Pereonite 4 extremely elongate (10 times as long as pereonite 3 length), constricted (in dorsal view) for first third length. Pereonite 4 with small dorsal elevation at third length and an elevation on the posterior dorsal margin.

Source: King (2003), Neastacilla Tattersall, 1921 redefined, with eight new species from Australia (Crustacea: Isopoda: Arcturidae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 60(2): 371-416.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Peracarida
Order:
Isopoda
Suborder:
Valvifera
Family:
Arcturidae
Genus:
Neastacilla
Species:
inaequispinosa

General Description

Body cylindrical, with prominent antennae. The first four pairs of legs are thin and with rows of hairs; the last three pairs are more stubby and attach the animal. Top of head with distinct "bump" between the eyes, body up to 11 mm long.

Biology

Neastacilla species, commonly known as skeleton louse, are often overlooked in their natural surroundings because they resemble the algae in which they live. All species of this genus use the long hairs on the front legs to filter planktonic food from the water.

Habitat

Subtidal to depths of 115 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern temperate oceans, including south-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Microcrustaceans Isopods

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

11 mm

Diet

Plankton or Particles

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

MoV 3739

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, Skeleton Louse, Neastacilla inaequispinosa, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5304

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