Bathynomus giganteus Milne-Edwards, 1879
Giant isopod
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Family:  Cirolanidae ()
Max. size:  50 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  bathydemersal; marine; depth range 310 - 2300 m
Distribution:  Indo-West Pacific and Western Atlantic.
Diagnosis:  Body depressed without distinct carapace. First thoracic segment fused with head. Sessible eyes; uniramous antennules with reduced exopodites.. First pair of thoracic appendages specialized as maxilliped; other thoracic appendages without exopodites. Shortened abdomen with segments often fused into caudal shield. Pleopods biramous, with flat rami serving as gills. Uropods and telson form fan-like fin, legs natatory.
Biology:  Largest known isopod. Inhabits the upper and mid slopes of the continental shelf. Bycatch of baited traps (Ref. 80748). This species has mouthparts which are highly adapted to cut and ingest large pieces of food, a large and distensible gut for maximum food ingestion as well as the capacity to store large amounts of lipids in the hepatopancreas (Ref. 80748). Maximum depth range from Ref. 111151. Believed to be a scavenger because of its high incidence in bycatch of trap fisheries (e.g., golden crab, Chaceon fenneri, trap fishery in Northern Gulf of Mexico; see Ref. 80748) (Ref. 3113).
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (N.E.) Ref. 123251)
Threat to humans: 
Country info:   

Entered by: Pan-Saniano, Marianne - 11.12.05
Modified by: Polido, Rubyann Robelle - 06.09.16

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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