BIOTIC Species Information for Callianassa subterranea
Researched byLizzie Tyler Data supplied byUniversity of Sheffield
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
General Biology
Growth formArticulate
Feeding methodSurface deposit feeder
Sub-surface deposit feeder
Environmental positionInfaunal
Typical food typesOrganic content of sediment particles. HabitBurrow dwelling
Bioturbator FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
HeightInsufficient information Growth Rate6-9.5 mm in the first year.
Adult dispersal potential100-1000m DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationGrowth rates
Rowden & Jones (1994) estimated that Callianassa subterranea could achieve a carapace length of 6.5 mm by the end of the first year. They noted that other estimates were similar and cited growth estimates of 6 mm, 8 mm and 9.5 mm in carapace length in the first year.

Feeding method
Callianassa subterranea is a sub-surface deposit feeder. Feeding takes place entirely within the burrow and once a burrow is established, much of the subsequent burrowing activity is for the purpose of obtaining food. Although it has been suggested that Callianassa subterranea is also a facultative filter-feeder (Nickell & Atkinson, 1995) and may 'garden' bacteria within its burrow detailed behavioural studies reveal the species to be a genuine deposit feeder (Stamhuis et al., 1996). Sediment is processed before ingesting and so contains a larger silt fraction than the sediment.

The density of Callianassa subterranea individuals varies between 2 and 60 shrimps per m² (Künitzer et al., 1992). Although population density of Callianassa subterreanea is often high, Rowden & Jones (1994) observed individual shrimps to be aggressive and intolerant of each other. The role of such aggressive behaviour may be important to the regulation of population density. It is also suggested that shrimp population density may control aspects of burrow morphology. In the laboratory, Callianassa subterranea showed self-inhibiting burrow construction. Burrows were smaller when individuals were present in high densities (Rowden & Jones, 1995).

The bopyrid isopod Ione thoracica resides in the branchial chamber beneath the carapace of Callianassa subterranea. A significant enlargement of the carapace allows for easy identification of those individuals suffering from such parasitism. Potential effects of bopyrid infestation are the prevention or reduction of maturation of eggs in females and reduction of testes and slenderization of the primary chelae in males (Rowden & Jones, 1994).
Biology References Rowden & Jones, 1994, Künitzer et al., 1992, Nickell & Atkinson, 1995, Atkinson, 1989, Stamhius et al., 1996, Rowden & Jones, 1995, Atkinson, 1988, Astall et al., 1997, Hayward & Ryland, 1990, Julie Bremner, unpub data,
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