Caprellid, “Ghost” or “Skeleton” shrimps, so called for their skeletal appearance. Amphipod crustaceans, easily distinguished by the elongate stick-like body form and reduction of the abdominal appendages. Head is generally fused with pereonite 1. Pereopods on first 2 segments (pereonites) are most flexible and called gnathopods; gnathopods 2 being the largest, used in defense, feeding and substrate attachment. In many species pereopods 3 and 4 may also be reduced or absent. Gills on pereonites 3 + 4, rarely on pereonite 2. Pereopods 5 - 7 much smaller than 1 + 2, used for clinging to the substratum. In females, brood plates (öostegites) develop on pereonites 3 + 4. Much remains to be learnt about their biology, ecology and in many cases changing distributions.
Gills on pereonites 3 + 4. Antenna 1, no accessory
flagellum; antenna 2 as long as peduncle of antenna 1, flagellum 2-articulate. Pereiopod 2, ischium and merus with spine-like process distally; gnathopod strong, narrows to projection distally, palm with projection bearing proximal grasping spine and 2 projections.