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Tanaids: Tanaidacea

Behavior And Reproduction

Nothing is known of the behavior of tanaids.


The tanaid Leptochelia dubia lives in population densities usually greater than 50,000 individuals per 1.2 square yards (1 square meter). If there are few or no males around, females have the ability to change their sex and become male. Males fight with other males over females, and the largest male usually wins. Since males do not feed and cannot grow, the largest males are females that have switched to males.

Both males and females are usually required for reproduction. Some species are hermaphrodites (her-MAE-fro-daits), with individuals having the reproductive organs of both males and females. The eggs are held in the marsupium until they hatch. The hatchlings, or larvae (LAR-vee), go through several distinct larval stages inside the marsupium. They do not leave the pouch until they have developed most of their appendages. Unlike many crustacean larvae, tanaids do not live in the open water with other plankton.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMollusks, Crustaceans, and Related SpeciesTanaids: Tanaidacea - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, No Common Name (apseudes Intermedius): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, TANAIDS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS