Gnathophausia longispina G. O. Sars, 1884
|Gnathophausia longispina in a petri dish. Captured in midwater off Oahu, HI|
|(Photo by: Jim Childress, 1993)|
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: This species is most similar to G. zoea, which has a similar structure on the antennal scale, a similar pattern of keels on the carapace, and similarly structured abdominal segments. However, G. zoea has rounded branchiostegal spines and no spine on the end of the last abdominal segment which is associated with the telson.
Geographical Range: Central and western tropical and warm north temperate Pacific
Depth Range: 150-500 m. Shallower than other Gnathophausia species, may be in the deep scattering layer.
Habitat: Mesopelagic or shallow bathypelagic. Seems to always be found near land.
Biology/Natural History: This small species is by far the lightest-colored species of Gnathophausia that I have seen. The light coloration is probably correlated with the shallow depth that the species is found at. The rostrum of this species, as in many Gnathophausia, is proportionately larger in small individuals, as are the spine on the antenna and the branchiostegal spine. The posterior lobe of the pleuron on the second abdominal segment forms a spine which is longer in mature males than in mature females.
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Clarke, W.D., 1962. The genus Gnathophausia (Mysidacea, Crustacea), its systematics and distribution in the Pacific Ocean. Ph.D. thesis, University of California, San Diego, Ca. 251 pp.
Ortmann A.E., 1906. Schizopod Crustaceans in the United States National Museum- the Families Lophogastridae and Eucopiidae. Government Printing Office, Washington DC