PORT PHILLIP BAY


Gnathiid Isopod 

Caecognathia huberia Cohen & Poore, 1994

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Eyes present. Frontal margin of cephalon produced, without frontal processes. Mandibles usually with smooth mandibular blade. Cephalon without paraocular ornamentation or dorsal sulcus. Pereonite 1 immersed in cephalon. Pylopod 2- or 3-articled, operculate, article 1 enlarged, article 3 small or absent.

Source: Cohen, B.F. & Poore, G.C.B. (1994) Phylogeny and biogeography of the Gnathiidae (Crustacea: Isopoda) with descriptions of new genera and species, most from south-eastern Australia. Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria, 54, 271-397.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Peracarida
Order:
Isopoda
Suborder:
Cymothoida
Superfamily:
Cymothooidea
Family:
Gnathiidae
Genus:
Caecognathia
Species:
huberia

General Description

Body setose, especially anteriorly; mandibles with mandibular setae, blade slightly asssymetrical, produced; posterior cephalon with small tubercle. Cephalon roughly quadrilateral with 3 furrows, 2 mesiolateral and 1 medially; pylopod 2-articled. Mandibles lacking internal lobe; pereon width not steadily increasing posteriorly; pereonite 4 with anterior spine; pereonite 6 without lobuii or at most with simple, rounded lobuii only. Pleotelson subtriangular. Up to 5 mm long.

Biology

Caecognathia huberia belongs to a family of isopods in which the male burrows in sediment and has a huge head with large jaws, the female has a smaller head and carries eggs. The male maintains a harem of females in a communal burrow in sandy rubble or algae. They are commonly known as sea mites as the juvenile stage lives attached to the skin of a fish where it feeds on blood and mucus which it obtains with sharp little jaws.

Habitat

Intertidal to 800 m depth.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Microcrustaceans Isopods

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

5 mm

Diet

Organic matter

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

MoV 254

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, Gnathiid Isopod, Caecognathia huberia, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5314

Text: creative commons cc by licence