INFRAORDER THALASSINIDEA (GHOST AND MUD SHRIMP)
OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
These are characterized by a relatively soft cuticle (shell) in most common forms. There are three species that are commonly encountered in BC and five additional species that are rare and restricted to deep water.
Thalassinids typically live in deep and sometimes complex burrows. Shallow water local species typically remain deep in the burrow and suspension feed (filtering plankton and organic particles from the water) by beating their pleopods to create a current. Specimens of the blue mud shrimp (Upogebia pugettensis) and ghost shrimps (Neotrypaea spp) are occasionally uncovered by clam diggers. The deep, protected burrows and constant current make mud and ghost shrimps attractive 'landlords' to many other invertebrate species. Some clams, worms, shrimps, and crabs are typically only found in thalassinid burrows.
Callianopsis goniophthalma, photo by Aaron Baldwin