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Amphipods: Amphipoda

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Skeleton Shrimp (caprella Californica): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, AMPHIPODS AND PEOPLE

SKELETON SHRIMP (Caprella californica): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
SPERM WHALE LICE (Neocyamus physeteris): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
BEACH HOPPER (Orchestoidea californiana): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Amphipods are found worldwide.


Most amphipods live on the ocean bottom and burrow in mud or debris. Many live in the open sea and are usually found on floating, jellylike animals, such as jellies and ctenophores. Others burrow into sandy beaches. About 1,200 species are found in fresh water, where they live among decaying leaves. About one hundred species live in moist habitats on land.


Amphipods eat plants, small animals, or scavenge dead bodies. One group lives on the bodies of marine mammals and eats their skin. Others attach themselves to the bodies of jellies or feed inside the bodies of tunicates.

In many freshwater and marine habitats, amphipods help break down and recycle decaying plant and animal matter. They are also eaten by other animals that are harvested as food for people.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMollusks, Crustaceans, and Related Species