Crustacea, the Higher Taxa

J.K. Lowry

Epicaridea (Isopoda, Peracarida, Malacostraca)

Common name. Fish Lice.

Description. Head. Rostrum absent; eyes sessile or absent; compound, visual elements present; ocular scale absent; naupliar eyes absent. Antennules (antenna 1) uniramous; peduncle and flagellum indistinguishable; exopod reduced, vestigial or absent; statocyst absent. Antennae (antenna 2) uniramous, or reduced, vestigial or absent; exopod multiarticulate. Mouthparts modified to form suctorial cone. Thorax. Carapace absent. Thorax and abdomen differentiated. Peraeopods (legs) 7 pairs, or 6 pairs; uniramous; non-phyllopodous; undifferentiated (simple), or differentiated (some prehensile). Peraeopod 1 (leg 1) subchelate. Peraeopod 2 (leg 2) subchelate. Peraeopod 3 (leg 3) subchelate. Abdomen with 5 somites. Epimera present. Pleopods present or absent, variable; well developed, broad and flat. Uropods well developed, 1 pair, positioned ventrolaterally; rami present, exopod without diaresis; endopod without statocyst. Telson fused to pleon (pleotelson).

Larval development. Metamorphic. Embryos carried in ventral thoracic brood pouch.

Habitat. Parasitic on other crustaceans.

Distribution. Worldwide.

Cite this publication as: Lowry, J.K. (1999 onwards). 'Crustacea, the Higher Taxa: Description, Identification, and Information Retrieval.' Version: 2 October 1999.