PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sea Flea 

Nebalia longicornis Thomson, 1879

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Rostrum with keel shorter than rostral flange, commonly without subterminal spine. Eyes shorter than rostrum, generally dorsally convex, sometimes with papilla; usually with ommatidia or visual elements; surface without denticles, ventral margin not extremely convex. Supraocular scale present. Maxilla 2 exopod at least half length of endopod. Antenna 1 peduncle article 4 without median flange, with 1 or more robust setae. Males without swollen or heavily setose flagella on antenna 1. Antenna 2, article 2 with commonly with dorsal spine, articles 3 and 4 fused. Mandible palp article 3 tapering distally, with parallel margins; incisor with 2 teeth; molar process well developed without accessory tooth/spine. Maxilla 1 second endite complex. Thoracopods exopod without proximal lobe; with few setae; epipods large, well developed. Pleopod 1, exopod generally with combrow. Pleopod 6 shorter than pleopod 5, uniarticulate. Posterior margin of all pleonite peduncles smooth.

Source: Walker-Smith, G.K. (1993) The systematics and taxonomy of some southern Australian Leptostraca, p. 81. University of Melbourne, Melbourne.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Phyllocarida
Order:
Leptostraca
Family:
Nebaliidae
Genus:
Nebalia
Species:
longicornis

General Description

Carapace laterally compressed forming a bivalve-like shell enclosing the bases of the legs; a hinged rostrum covering the eyes; abdomen tapering ending in a forked tail (caudal furca); with 7 abdominal segments. Colourless with bright red eyes. Males without swollen or heavily setose flagella on antenna 1. Up to 1 cm long

Biology

Flattened crustaceans with a hinged flap over the eyes and living in muddy environments are sea fleas, variously called phyllocarids, leptostracans or nebaliaceans, depending on what level in the crustacean hierarchy is being referred to. There are several types of crustaceans which jump like fleas but these are not what are referred to here. Leptostracans are never found out of sea water. Leptostracans in southern Australia are usually identified as Nebalia longicornis but there are at least 3 species recognised as new in Museum collections.

Habitat

Intertidal to 18 m depth.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern Hemisphere.

Species Group

Microcrustaceans Leptostracans

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

1 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

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, Sea Flea, Nebalia longicornis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 21 Jul 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5535

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