Beach Ghost Shrimp

Neotrypaea californiensis

Order: 

Decapoda

Family: 

Callianassidae

Neotrypaea californiensis, commonly known as Beach Ghost Shrimp, can grow up to 12 cm long. They are covered by a smooth, slightly translucent carapace with a broad abdominal section (2). N. californiensis are sexually dimorphic, with males significantly larger and possessing a more pronounced claw than females (2). Known for their bioturbation (3), creating complex burrows and filtering the disturbed sediments for plankton and detritus (1). These burrows can reach depths of 75 cm and are also used by polychaete worms, snapping shrimps, and pea crabs (2). N. californiensis increase bioturbation in response to high organic matter loading in the sediment, a possible regulator on anthropogenic nutrient loading (3). N. californiensis are also extremely tolerant to low oxygen conditions, able to survive without oxygen for up to six days, and high salinity, noted to live in salinity higher than the ocean (2).

 

(1) Bay ghost shrimp. Monterey Bay Aquarium. https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/invertebrates/bay-ghost...

(2) Cowles D. Neotrypaea californiensis (Dana, 1854). Invertebrates of the Salish Sea. 2007 https://inverts.wallawalla.edu/Arthropoda/Crustacea/Malacostraca/Eumalac...

(3) DeWitt, T H. RESPONSE OF GHOST SHRIMP (NEOTRYPAEA CALIFORNIENSIS) BIOTURBATION TO ORGANIC MATTER ENRICHMENT OF ESTUARINE INTERTIDAL SEDIMENTS. Presented at 27th Annual Meeting of Pacific Estuarine Research Society, Port Townsend, WA, May 17-18, 2004.

 

Habitat: 

  • seasonally tidal estuary