Isopod in family aegidae from a Clive Brown crab pot fishing off Guernsey's south coast
This scavenging or parasitic isopod was recovered by Guernsey commercial crab and lobster fisherman Clive Brown working his pots off Guernsey's south coast on 30 January 2008. It fell out one of his crab pots and landed on the gunwale. It had a total length of about 31 mm.
Dr. Tammy Horton, an isopod and amphipod specialist at Southampton Oceanography Centre, has identified this isopod as belonging to the family aegidae. It has seven pairs of pereiopods (legs). The first three pairs are prehensile (suitable for gripping onto prey) but the fourth to seventh pair of pereiopods are ambulatory. This is unlike the isopods in the family cymothoidae in which the fourth to seventh pair of pereipods are suitable for gripping onto prey.
Some species in the family aegidae grow to a length of 60 mm. They are carnivorous scavengers and opportunistic feeders. They attach to fish to feed infrequently but when they do they gorge themselves on the fish's blood. Isopods in this family have also attacked humans in the Caribbean.
Photo taken of the live isopod in a Petri dish of seawater with a Canon A640 digital camera using an Epoque off camera flash with reflectors over a black paper background. Contrast adjusted in Photoshop.
File No. 300108 2833
File size: 2.48 MB Jpeg
isopodaisopodaegidaeaegidcrustaceanGuernsey marine lifeClive Brownsouth coastcrab potparasiticperaeon somitesantennal flagellumEnglish Channel marine lifecrustaceamalacostracaBritish marine lifemarine invertebratetelsonuropodChannel Islandscompound eyesambulatory pereiopods