The Beach Fleas and Sandhoppers (Amphipoda; Talitridae) of Trinidad
Keywords:Palustral talitrids, Beach Fleas, Sandhoppers, Landhoppers, Amphipoda, Talitridae, Trinidad
Amphipods are small to medium-sized crustaceans that occur abundantly in aquatic habitats world-wide. They are important chiefly because they convert basic plant and animal materials into a form of protein suitable as food for fishes and ultimately man (Bousfield, 1981, 1982, 1988). Members of one family of amphipods, the Talitridae, have become specialized for life in the tidal zone and on land. However, in contrast to their land-dwelling isopod crustacean cousins, the sow bugs and wood lice, the terrestrial adaptations of amphipods have not evolved very far. Thus, the talitrids are, by and large, restricted to warm (frost-free) seashore and rain forest habitats of oceanic islands and continental coasts of tropical and temperate regions of the world.