PORT PHILLIP BAY


Muddy Ghost Shrimp 

Callianassa limosa Poore, 1975

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Chelipeds unequal and sexually dimorphic; larger cheliped merus with proximal hook on lower margin; propodus smooth; fixed finger simple; dactylus irregularly toothed in male. Telson tapering to convex posterior margin, as long as uropods. Cornea fully formed.

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:
Callianassa
Species:
limosa

General Description

Claws (chelipeds) unequal, larger and more elaborately toothed in males; fourth segment (merus) of larger claw (cheliped) with proximal hook on lower margin; sixth segment (propodus) smooth; fixed finger simple; last segment (dactylus) irregularly toothed in male. Tail fan (telson) tapering to convex posterior margin, as long as uropods. Cornea fully formed. Up to 3 cm long.

Biology

Ghost shrimps, sometimes called "Bass yabbies", "ghost nippers" or "one-armed bandits" in Victoria, dig deep permanent burrows on mud flats intertidally and on deeper sediment. In places like Western Port, the burrows can be found alongside seagrasses. Each burrow has two openings, one funnel-shaped down which water is drawn for ventilation, and another with a volcano built of mud excavated by the shrimp and dumped outside. This species is extremely common on muddy sediments in Port Phillip Bay.

Habitat

Subtidal muddy sediments to 100 m depth.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern temperate oceans, including south-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Prawns, shrimps, lobsters Ghost and mud shrimps

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

3 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 719

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, Muddy Ghost Shrimp, Callianassa limosa, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5526

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