PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sand Skater 

Heteroserolis australiensis (Beddard, 1884)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Body outline broad, ovate; coxal plates of pereonites 2 to 6 curved, apices acute, closely applied, not freely projecting. Coxal plates of pereonites 2 to 4 separated from tergites by sutures. Head with one low, posterior tubercle. Pereonites 1 to 4 each bearing a long low median tubercle. Dorsal surface of entire body bearing small tubercles weakly developed in some specimens. In the dorsal midline, the posterior margin of pereonite 5 may be fused completely with pleonite 1; marked posteriorly only by a shallow groove; or may be completely distinct from pleonite 1. Pleonal tergites each with a long low median tubercle; pleonites 2 and 3 wider than pleotelson, margins rounded. Pleotelson broader than long, with a median longitudinal carina and, either side of midline, a tuberculate transverse ridge terminating laterally as a low obscure tubercle. Pleonal sternites with pronounced exensions, that of pleonite 1 extending just beyond apex of that of pleonite 2 and not bearing a longitudinal groove.

Antenna 1 extending to pereonite 4. Antenna 2 slender, peduncle not flattened, extending to pereonite 3. Uropodal endopod extending to level of pleotelsonic tip, apex acute; exopod
two-thirds length of endopod, apex broadly truncate.

Source: Harrison, K. & Poore, G.C.B. (1984) Serolis (Crustacea, Isopoda, Serolidae) from Australia with a new species from Victoria. Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria, 45, 13-31.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Peracarida
Order:
Isopoda
Suborder:
Sphaeromatidea
Superfamily:
Seroloidea
Family:
Serolidae
Genus:
Heteroserolis
Species:
australiensis

General Description

Pereon and pleon bearing obvious dorsal tuberculation. Dorsal surface lacking setae, midline with low weakly produced tubercles; pleonal sternites 1-3 not markedly keeled; pleotelson with no obvious dorsolateral spines; uropodal exopod apically truncate. Up to 1.5 cm long.

Biology

Sand skaters use their discoid shape and camouflage to swim and walk about invisibly on the surface of sand in marine environments. They feed on the organic matter found in the sand.

Habitat

Intertidal to depth of 420 m.

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

1.5 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

MoV 1270

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, Sand Skater, Heteroserolis australiensis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5340

Text: creative commons cc by licence