Hunchbacked shrimp

© Copyright Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Among the newely discovered 26 species of amphipods of genus Ephimera from Southern Ocean off Antarctica, one species stood out for its humped back. It was named Epimeria quasimodo and is about 2 inches long.

It was named for Victor Hugo’s character, Quasimodo the hunchback, in reference to its somewhat humped back. Extraordinary morphological structures and colors, makes the genus Epimeria an icon of the Southern Ocean that includes both free-swimming predators and sessile filter feeders.

The genus is abundant in the glacial waters circulating south of the Polar Front and their crested adornments are reminiscent of mythological dragons.

Suggested Reading

D’Udekem d’Acoz C, Verheye ML. Epimeria of the Southern Ocean with notes on their relatives (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Eusiroidea). E. 2017;(359). doi:10.5852/ejt.2017.359

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Written by Josin Tharian

Assistant Professor of Zoology by profession.

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