Squat Lobsters (Munida gregaria)

© 2000 by Image Quest 3-D
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Photograph by Peter Batson

(SUBPHYLUM: Crustacea, CLASS: Malacostraca, ORDER: Decapoda, SUPERFAMILY: Galatheoidea)

These bright red galatheid squat lobsters, commonly known as 'red whalefeed', were part of a dense swarm of juveniles caught at the surface in a plankton net. They normally live on the seabed of the outer shelf and upper continental slope habitats. They are ecologically important in the New Zealand region - forming widespread summer swarms that attract sea birds, fish, and mammals and have even been used to trace the oceanic fronts of the Otago area.

 

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2001 by Image Quest 3-D
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