Crustacean Details

Crustaceans (make up a very large group of the Arthropods which include the crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill, barnacles brine shrimp, copepods, ostracods and mantis shrimp. Crustaceans are found in a wide range of habitats - most are free-living freshwater or marine animals, but some are terrestrial (e.g. woodlice), some are parasitic (e.g. fish lice) and some do not move (e.g. barnacles). There are over 50,000 known species of crustaceans divided into a number of major groups - the Branchiopods, the Maxillopods, the Ostracods and the Malacostraca. The Malacostraca are further divided into five groups - decapods (e.g. crabs, lobsters and shrimp), stomatopods (mantis shrimp), euphausiids (krill), amphipods (e.g. sandhoppers) and isopods (land-based) crustaceans.

Crustaceans are invertebrates with a hard exoskeleton (carapace), a segmented body that is bilaterally symmetrical, more than four pairs of jointed appendages ("legs") and an open circulatory system (the "blood" does not flow in a closed loop). They also have eyes usually on stalks, a primitive ventral nerve cord and "brain" (ganglia near the antennae), a digestive system which is a straight tube for grinding food and a pair of digestive glands. Gills are used for respiration and they have a pair of green glands to excrete wastes (found near the base of the antennae).

Varieties We can Offer from Crustaceans Family