A fine dissecting hand and a good microscope are needed to identify these pea-shaped crustaceans. They are ostracods, and they live enclosed in a thin shell. They are good swimmers, beating their hairy legs in the water to move. Some ostracods are carnivores and prey on small fish larvae, others scavenge dead material on the sea floor. These two are females, both brooding eggs within their shells.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
This image has been provided courtesy of the NORFANZ partners – Australia’s National Oceans Office and CSIRO and New Zealand’s Ministry of Fisheries and NIWA. The use of this image does not imply the endorsement of the NORFANZ partners of the content of this entry.