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(A. Milne-Edwards, 1881)

Short generic diagnosis
Endopod of first maxillipede composed of three segments; the two inner distal lobes of the second maxilla narrow and projecting beyond the basal lobe.
Merus and ischium of pereiopods normal, not broad or strongly compressed; rostrum rarely very short and always armed with teeth or serrations.

The rostrum is long, from one and a half to twice the length of the carapace. The complete rostral spine formula is usually found to be thirteen to sixteen teeth above and eight to eleven below.
Carapace is less than half the length of the abdomen (excluding the telson).
The eye is almost globular, about one-sixth of the length of the carapace in diameter the cornea is rather small and faintly pigmented.
Antennular peduncle very short reaching to only about one-third the length of the antennal scale.
Scaphocerite about five-sixths the length of the carapace in large specimens, at its base it is about three and a half times as long as wide.
The five pairs of pereiopods all bear long exopods, decreasing in size from before backwards. The first two pairs are chelate and about equal in length.
Telson terminating acutely. Usually about equal in length to the outer uropod and bears a rather peculiar type of spinulation.

Length up to 79 mm.

Bright scarlet coloured, photophores stand out very clearly as deep blue spots and streaks.

Free swimming species.

Depth range
Down from 25 to about 3000 m.

Distribution in the North Sea
Possibly northern North Sea (entering from the Shetland-Faeroe Area and from off N Scotland).

World distribution
Atlantic Ocean (from S. of Iceland and the Faeroes south to the Bahamas, the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands), English Channel; from West-, South-, and East Africa, from the Indian Ocean, the Malay Archipelago and Hawaii.

[After Kemp, 1910; Sivertsen and Holthuis, 1956]

Systellapsis debilis