Big-eyed amphipod (Hyperia galba)

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



A key feature of Hyperia galba are the large green eyes, and swollen head and thorax, all of which are more pronounced in the females . Males have long, filiform antennae, while the female's are very short. The first two pairs of gnathopods are small and simple, unlike many other amphipods. Growing to around 1 cm in length, Hyperia galba, is a very widespread species.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded from most coasts around the UK but only from southwest Ireland.

Global distribution



This quite common pelagic amphipod is parasitic on many jellyfish and comb-jellies including the dustbin-lid Rhizostoma octopus, moon Aurelia aurita, Lion's mane Cyanea capillata and compass jellyfish Chrysaora hysoscella as well as the sea gooseberry Beroe spp. Hyperia galba may be found externally or internally where it has burrowed into the host.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Large green eyes.
  • Male antennae long and filiform, female antennae are very short.
  • Head and thorax swollen compared to abdomen, particularly in females.
  • Gnathopods simple with acute, projecting, distal lobe on carpus.
  • Pleopods with lanceolate rami.

Additional information

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Listed by

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    1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. IBIS Project Data. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-09-25.

    2. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset Accessed via on 2018-10-01

    3. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

    4. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-07-25


    This review can be cited as:

    Hosie, A.M. 2009. Hyperia galba Big-eyed amphipod. 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 25-07-2024]. Available from:

    Last Updated: 06/01/2009