Specimen of Diastylis rathkei, photographed by Hans Hillewaert.

Belongs within: Eumalacostraca.

The Cumacea are a group of small marine crustaceans, less than 15 mm long. Their body shape is distinctive, with a globular anterior body and elongate pleon. Water is drawn into the gill cavity and passed forward through the pseudorostrum; most cumaceans feed by filtering food particles from the water.

Characters (from Ax 2000): Anterior body egg-shaped, pleon elongate, uropods pistil-like. Carapace extensive, covering several thoracic segments, paired lobes of carapace combining to form anterior pseudorostrum, posterior edge of carapace fused with body wall, with a narrow longitudinal slit ventrally; gill cavity formed by carapace containing two large epipodites from first gilled thoracopod pair. Antenna II without scaphocerite. Thoracopods I-III formed into maxillipeds. Pleopods I-V reduced in female.

    |  i. s.: Mezolamprops japonicus GAS03
    |         Campylaspis legendrei M62
    |         Eocuma ferox M62
    |         Cyclaspis thomsoni HS01
    |--Archaeocuma [Archaeocumatidae] MD01
    |--Bodotriidae MD01
    |--Ceratocumatidae MD01
    |--Leuconidae MD01
    |--Nannastacidae MD01
    |--Pseudocumatidae MD01
    |--Gynodiastylis HS01 [Gynodiastylidae MD01]
    |    `--G. milleri HS01
    |--Lamprops GAS03 [Lampropidae MD01]
    |    |--L. affinis GAS03
    |    `--L. multifasciata GAS03
    `--Diastylis D01 [Diastylidae MD01]
         |--D. alaskensis GAS03
         |--D. paralaskensis GAS03
         |--D. polita C02
         `--D. rathkei D01

*Type species of generic name indicated


Ax, P. 2000. Muticellular Animals: the phylogenetic system of the Metazoa vol. 2. Springer.

[C02] Collette, B. B. 2002. Pricklebacks. Family Stichaeidae. In Bigelow and Schroeder’s Fishes of the Gulf of Maine (B. B. Collette & G. Klein-MacPhee, eds) 3rd ed. pp. 474-481. Smithsonian Institute Press: Washington.

[D01] Dohle, W. 2001. Are the insects terrestrial crustaceans? A discussion of some new facts and arguments and the proposal of the proper name ‘Tetraconata’ for the monophyletic unit Crustacea + Hexapoda. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (N.S.) 37 (1-2): 85-103.

[GAS03] Gulbin, V. V., I. S. Arzamastsev & V. M. Shulkin. 2003. Ecological monitoring of the water area of Port Vostochnyi (Wrangel Bay) in the Sea of Japan (1995-2002). Russian Journal of Marine Biology 29 (5): 284-295.

[HS01] Hayward, B. W., A. B. Stephenson, M. S. Morley, W. M. Blom, H. R. Grenfell, F. J. Brook, J. L. Riley, F. Thompson & J. J. Hayward. 2001. Marine biota of Parengarenga Harbour, Northland, New Zealand. Records of the Auckland Museum 37: 45-80.

[MD01] Martin, J. W., & G. E. Davis. 2001. An updated classification of the Recent Crustacea. Natural History Museum Los Angeles County, Science Series 39: 1-124.

[M62] Monniot, F. 1962. Recherches sur les graviers a Amphioxus de la région de Banyuls-sur-Mer. Vie et Milieu 13: 231-322.

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