MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

An amphipod (Ampelisca brevicornis)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Researched byPenny Avant Refereed byAdmin
Authority(Costa, 1853)
Other common names- SynonymsAmpelisca bellianus (Costa, 1853)

Summary

Description

Ampelisca brevicornis is a typical amphipod with a laterally compressed, smooth, curved body. It grows up to 12mm long and is translucent whitish with scattered dark brown and/or yellow spots. The head bears 2 pairs of small eyes and 2 pairs of slender, unbranched antennae, the second pair being about twice as long as the first. Behind the head the body is not obviously separated into thorax (pereon) and abdomen (pleon) and each segment has its own, similar pair of limbs.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Common around all British coasts.

Global distribution

Found round north west Atlantic coasts from west Norway to the western Mediterranean, and in the Canary Isles.

Habitat

Most common in fine or muddy sand mixed with shell, but also found in coarse sand and gravel, on the lower shore and sublittorally to a depth of 200 m.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Laterally compressed, smooth, curved body up to 12mm long.
  • Translucent white with dark brown and/or yellow scattered spots.
  • Body not obviously segmented behind the head and each segment with its own pair of relatively similar limbs.
  • Head longer than the segments immediately behind it and cylindrical.
  • 2 pairs of slender antennae, the second pair being about twice as long as the first.
  • There are large coxal plates covering the tops of the limbs.

Additional information

Accurate identification of amphipods can be difficult and usually requires some microscopic examination (see Lincoln, 1979).

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

Search on:

NBN WoRMS

Bibliography

  1. Dauvin, J.C., 1988e. Biologie, dynamique, et production de populations de crustacés amphipodes de la Manche occidentale. 2. Ampelisca brevicornis (Costa). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 119, 213-233.

  2. Hastings, M.H., 1981. The lifecycle and productivity of an intertidal population of the Amphipod Ampelisca brevicornis. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 12, 665-677.

  3. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  4. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  5. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  6. Lincoln, R.J., 1979. British Marine Amphipoda: Gammaridea. London: British Museum (Natural History).

  7. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Avant, P. 2007. Ampelisca brevicornis An amphipod. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1780

Last Updated: 15/03/2007