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Phronima sp | Deep Sea plankton | Tiefsee Plankton

This deep sea amphipod genus is particularly renowned for its house-building. This transparent organism feeds upon free-living, planktonic sea squirts and salps. It devours the internal soft body parts of its live prey and is then left surrounded by a tough, transparent husk of tunicin. It is this outer casing that it then modifies to form an open-ended barrel, the final shape of which is particular to the species of Phronima and the salp in question. This macabre activity seems to be conducted by the female amphipods, and in time eggs or hatchlings are deposited as a saddle on the inner wall of the barrel. Here they remain and grow, aerated by a constant flow of water that moves through the barrel as the female swims through the water column. With advancing age comes the spirit of adventure and juveniles start to stray from their brood site towards the margins of the barrel. Phronima sp [size of single organism: 3 cm] | Der "Kinderwagen-Krebs" Phronima (engl. pram bug amphipod) frisst eine Tonnensalpe aus und legt darin seine Eier ab. Der Krebs schiebt die Salpe oft wie einen Kinderwagen vor sich her, kann zur Pflege der geschlüpften Larven aber auch selbst in die Salpen-Hülle kriechen.

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Filename
20071112_pol0415 Phronima sp Deep Sea plankton Tiefsee Plankton_.jpg
Copyright
AWI / Solvin Zankl
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3387x5100 / 7.4MB
Contained in galleries
Deep sea | Tiefsee
This deep sea amphipod genus is particularly renowned for its house-building. This transparent organism feeds upon free-living, planktonic sea squirts and salps. It devours the internal soft body parts of its live prey and is then left surrounded by a tough, transparent husk of tunicin. It is this outer casing that it then modifies to form an open-ended barrel, the final shape of which is particular to the species of Phronima and the salp in question. This macabre activity seems to be conducted by the female amphipods, and in time eggs or hatchlings are deposited as a saddle on the inner wall of the barrel. Here they remain and grow, aerated by a constant flow of water that moves through the barrel as the female swims through the water column. With advancing age comes the spirit of adventure and juveniles start to stray from their brood site towards the margins of the barrel. Phronima sp [size of single organism: 3 cm] | Der "Kinderwagen-Krebs" Phronima (engl. pram bug amphipod) frisst eine Tonnensalpe aus und legt darin seine Eier ab. Der Krebs schiebt die Salpe oft wie einen Kinderwagen vor sich her, kann zur Pflege der geschlüpften Larven aber auch selbst in die Salpen-Hülle kriechen.