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On the burrowing and feeding habits of the amphipods Bathyporeia pilosa Lindstrom and Bathyporeia sarsi Watkin
Nicolaisen, W.; Kanneworff, E. (1969). On the burrowing and feeding habits of the amphipods Bathyporeia pilosa Lindstrom and Bathyporeia sarsi Watkin. Ophelia 6(1): 231-250.
In: Ophelia: International Journal of Marine Biology. Ophelia Publications: Helsingør. ISSN 0078-5326, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Bathyporeia pilosa Lindström, 1855 [WoRMS]; Bathyporeia sarsi Watkin, 1938 [WoRMS]; Marine

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  • Nicolaisen, W.
  • Kanneworff, E.

    The burrowing mechanism and feeding in Bathyporeia pilosa and B. sarsi are described, based on aquaria observations. The two species do not differ in these respects. The species have no permanent burrow, but ventrally the appendages maintain a small cavity in the sand. The cavity has no connection to the surface of the sand and the pleopods pump water for the respiration from the interstices. The animal normally lies with its ventral side upwards when it burrows. From in front of the head sand grains are carried backwards on either side of the body by the pereopods. Friction against sand grains causes the pereopod spines to rise when the limbs move backwards and to lie down during the forward movement. This enables the pereopods to move sand grains backwards and to push the animal forwards. The diet consists of matter adhering to sand grains. The stomach contains crushed diatom shells and unidentifiable matter. The sand grains are worked over one by one; the first pereopods press them against the mouthparts which clean them by biting and scraping. In the field the two species burrow from 0 to 10 em into the sediment. Previous work has demonstrated that in areas with pronounced tides the two species occupy different levels of the shore. The present work has shown a distinct difference in average burrowing depth between them. Although there is some degree of overlapping, B. pilosa is generally the deeper burrower of the two. On exposed shores where B. sarsi dominates, both species burrow deeper than on more sheltered localities where B. pilosa dominates.

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