PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sandy Ghost Shrimp 

Biffarius arenosus (Poore, 1975)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Carapace with dorsal oval, rostrum and anterolateral projections obsolete. Eyes flattened. Antennules and antennae peduncles similar in dimensions. Maxilliped 3 operculate, ischium not produced, dactylus linear. Chelipeds unequal; major cheliped with meral hook on lower margin; propodus excavate in gape in male only; dactylus with 2 strong teeth in male, simple in female. Telson as wide as long, shorter than uropods. Minor cheliped with denticulate ischium. Pleopods 3-5 with stubby appendix masculina.

Source: Poore, G.C.B. (2004) Marine decapod Crustacea of southern Australia. A guide to identification (with chapter on Stomatopoda by Shane Ahyong). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 574 pp.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Eucarida
Order:
Decapoda
Suborder:
Pleocyemata
Infraorder:
Thalassinidea
Family:
Callianassidae
Genus:
Biffarius
Species:
arenosus

General Description

Fourth segment (merus) of larger claw (cheliped) with hook on lower margin; sixth segment (propodus) excavate in gape in male only; last segment (dactylus) with 2 strong teeth in male, simple in female. Tail fan (telson) as wide as long, shorter than uropods. Up to 4.5 cm long.

Biology

This small but abundant species is so named because it prefers sandy sediments (unlike other species which prefer deeper muddy bays). The combination of a blade-like lobe on the arm of the larger claw and a squarish telson differentiate this species from Callianassa limosa. The species is an active burrower important in sedimentary nutrient dynamics. It makes a complex burrow and feeds on the sediment it excavates.

Habitat

Intertidal to shallow subtidal sandflats, often estuarine, depths to 25 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern temperate oceans, including south-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Prawns, shrimps, lobsters Ghost and mud shrimps

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

4.5 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from large claws could be painful

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 1005

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, Sandy Ghost Shrimp, Biffarius arenosus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5524

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