You may be studying marine biology or you own a fish and all you know is that amphipods are a great food for them! However, an amphipod is a very complex creature and has many interesting aspects to its behaviour & diet. Read on to find out some interesting facts about amphipods that you may have never known before!
Most amphipods are scavengers
You may be providing your fish with amphipods to eat and because they are so small in size it can be strange to think about what their food is… However, they have to eat to be such a nutritious snack to fish and larger species of the sea. Amphipods generally tend to feed on live algae as well as small insects and crustaceans.
Amphipods sometimes demonstrate cannibalism
The incidence of cannibalism is relatively high in some species of amphipods. However, adults are less likely to demonstrate cannibalistic behaviour directed at juveniles when they may encounter their own offspring.
The largest recorded amphipods are 28 centimetres long!
Although you will find amphipods are usually less than 1cm in length, they can grow much larger than this. The largest amphipods were found in the Pacific Ocean at 5,300 metres deep into the water.
Reproduction and life cycle
The reproduction of an amphipod is quite fascinating also. These creatures reproduce very regularly and we have some very interesting facts about what happens during this time.
- When female amphipods reach a mature age, they bear a marsupium, which is a pouch that holds her eggs while they are fertilised.
- The more mature the amphipod is, the more eggs typically produced
- Mortality is around 25-50% for each egg
- Sexual maturity in amphipods occurs directly after 6 moults
- Some species of amphipods eat their own exuviae after moulting
We hope you learned something new today about amphipods and their unique behaviour & diet. If you want to learn more or have any questions, feel free to contact us at any time and we will help you find what you are looking for.