Mud shrimp

More about the mud shrimp

Skillfull diggers

Many shallow soft bottoms are perforated by holes that are a few millimetres in diameter. It is usually the mud shrimp that has made these holes. The mud shrimp uses tixotropi when it digs. When it stands on the bottom and waves the legs on the middle of its body, a furrow is made into which the body of the mud shrimp sinks. It is then that it is able to dig its large antennae into the sediment. Around the mouth, the transformed and brush furnished legs make the hole even larger. When the mud shrimp reaches sluggish sediment it kicks with the rear of its body and legs and pushes itself foreward and downward. When it has got the whole of its body into the sediment, it starts waving its middle legs again and in this way digs even further down into the sediment. A fountain of particles is squirted out while it is digging the new whole. While the mud shrimp continues digging its semi-circled hole, occasional eruptions of sand and other debris squirt out of the hole. After awhile the mud shrimp will show itself about 1-2 cm from where it disappeared into the sand. It can take 2-3 minutes for the mud shrimp to dig its hole. Often the holes are only a few centimetres deep, but holes as deep as 10 cm have been found. In the same way, as with other burrowing creatures, the mud shrimp affects the oygen content in the sediment and there by, the distribution of smaller organisms on the bottom.

Decorates with detritus

When the mud shrimp has dug its U-shaped tunnel it stops squirting out debris. Instead it starts collecting material from the orifice with the use of its antennae. The antennae feel the surroundings carefully and collect organic material that it packs together and pulls into its hole. Here, the mud shrimp works the organic debris with the use of its mouth.

Mud shrimp in tunnel

Page 1 of 3

Next page

Digs skillfully

Decorates with detritus

Swim on their back

Several litters

Fishfood and aviation fuel

More specie

Mud shrimp     More facts     Other names
Home    Contents    Inspiration    Facts    Collaboration   
© Aquascope 2000   Tjärnö Marine biologicl Laboratory, Strömstad, Sweden
Bo Johannesson | Martin Larsvik | Lars-Ove Loo | Helena Samuelsson