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Leptostracans: Phyllocarida

No Common Name (dahlella Caldariensis): Species Account

Physical characteristics: The largest individuals of Dahlella caldariensis (abbreviated to D. caldariensis) measure approximately 0.31 inches (8.1 millimeters) long from the base of the rostrum to the tip of the tail. The rostrum is three times longer than wide and almost half as long as the carapace. The eyes lack color; eyestalks are banana-shaped with tiny, toothlike bumps along the front margin.

Not much is known about the feeding habits of Dahlella caldariensis However, it has been suggested that the rough eyestalks might be used to scrape surfaces to loosen bits of food. (Illustration by Dan Erickson. Reproduced by permission.)

Geographic range: This species lives near deep-sea geysers, known as hydrothermal vents, near the Galápagos Islands and the East Pacific Rise.

Habitat: D. caldariensis is found in vent openings and clumps of mussels and vestimentiferans at depths of 8,040 to 8,595 feet (2,450 to 2,620 meters).

Diet: Not much is known about their feeding habits. However, it has been suggested that the rough eyestalks might be used to scrape surfaces to loosen bits of food, such as encrustations of bacteria and other organisms.

Behavior and reproduction: Nothing is known about their behavior or reproduction.

Dahlella caldariensis and people: Nothing is known.

Conservation status: This species is not considered endangered or threatened. ∎



Brusca, R. C., and G. J. Brusca. Invertebrates. Second edition. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 2003.

Hessler, R. R., and F. R. Schram. Leptostraca as Living Fossils. In Living Fossils, edited by N. Eldredge and M. Stanley. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1984.


Briggs, D. E. G., M. D. Sutton, and D. J. Siveter. "A new phyllocarid (Crustacea: Malacostraca) from the Silurian Fossil-Lagerstätte of Herefordshire, UK." Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences 271, no. 1535 (2004): 131-138.

Web sites:

The Biology of Sea Fleas. http://www.museum.vic.gov.au/crust/nebbiol.html (accessed on February 14, 2005).

Invertebrate Anatomy Online: Nebalia pugettensis. http://www.lander.edu/rsfox/310nebaliaLab.html (accessed on February 14, 2005).

Leptostraca. http://crustacea.nhm.org/peet/leptostraca/ (accessed on February 14, 2005).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMollusks, Crustaceans, and Related SpeciesLeptostracans: Phyllocarida - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Leptostracans And People, No Common Name (dahlella Caldariensis): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS