A sand hopper (Gitanopsis bispinosa)

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



Gitanopsis bispinosa is a gammarid amphipod. It has a laterally compressed body comprising a head, a thorax (pereon), an abdomen (pleon) and a tail segment (telson), characteristic of all amphipods. Like other gammarids it has small eyes, large ventral extensions to the pereon segments, known as coxae. Gitanopsis bispinosa can reach up to 6 mm in length. It is whitish in colour and banded with light red. It can be recognised by having a longer third than second tail limb (uropod) and an elongate telson.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded in Scottish waters off the Orkney Isles, east of the Shetlands and in the upper North Sea.

Global distribution



Gitanopsis bispinosa is a benthic deep sea shrimp, usually found at depths between 100-200 m.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Up to 6 mm in length.
  • Whitish in colour with red bands.
  • Coxae present; coxa 1 notably small.
  • Pleon segment 1-2 with dorsal tooth.
  • Elongate telson.
  • Uropods are biramous; uropod 3 longer than uropod 2.
  • Broad carpal lobe of gnathopod 2.
  • Distal portion of the thoracic legs is short and almost straight.

Additional information

Unlike Gitanopsis inermis, pleon segments 1-2 have a distinct dorsal tooth.


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

  2. 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.]

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


  1. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  2. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-06-15


This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Gitanopsis bispinosa A sand hopper. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 15-06-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/118

Last Updated: 22/05/2008