Gammaracanthus lacustris, from here.

Belongs within: Senticaudata.
Contains: Gammaridae, Anisogammaridae, Pallaseidae, Pontogammaridae, Acanthogammaridae, Micruropodidae, Typhlogammaridae.

The Gammaroidea are a large group of mostly freshwater (though some are marine) amphipods. The gammaroids as listed below were united by Bousfield (1977); however, his description of the superfamily as 'plesiomorphic' suggests that he regarded this group as potentially paraphyletic with regard to the other 'gammaroid' superfamilies (Melitoidea, Crangonyctoidea and Melphidippoidea), though he did not conduct a formal phylogenetic analysis. Among the Gammaroidea are the extensive radiation(s) of amphipods found in Lake Baikal. These include the planktivorous Macrohectopus branickii, the only exclusively pelagic amphipod.

Characters (from Bousfield 1977): Both antennae (especially peduncle of antenna II) strongly developed, segment 2 of antenna I not elongate, acessory flagellum prominent (rarely absent); head with inferior antennal sinus deeply emarginate; eye well developed, basically reniform; body often carinate and/or processiferous, and/or rostrum moderately to well developed; urosome segments with well developed dorsal groups of spines and setae; sexual dimorphism usually strongly expressed in body size, and in characters of antennae, gnathopods, peraeopods and uropod III, but not in a specialised male instar; calceoli of antenna II cup- or plate-shaped. Mandibular palp strongly 3-segmented, terminal segment strong, usually with D-setae; lower lip with inner lobes lacking or weakly developed; maxilla I with inner plate large, strongly setose, outer plate with 11-9 (rarely fewer) apical spine-teeth; maxilla II with plates strongly setose; maxilliped with large, marginally spinose inner plates, palp strong, dactylate; coxal plates I-IV deep, contiguous (overlapping); coxae V-VII with anterior lobe usually deeper than posterior lobe. Gnathopods I and II strongly subchelate, subequal, II usually larger; peraeopods III larger than IV, may be sexually dimorphic in armature (not form); peraeopods V-VII with basis usually expanded, VII longest; pleopods with well developed rami, subequal; epimeral plates subquadrate or acute behind; peduncle of uropod I with basofacial spine; uropod III with rami usually subequal, spinose and setose (natatory), terminal segment of outer ramus present; telson basically bilobed, spinose and setose marginally and apically, apices rounded. Coxal gill of peraeon VII usually present; accessory (sternal) gills absent; brood lamellae large (or distally expanded), marginally with strong simple setae.

Gammaroidea [Gammaridira] LM13
    |  i. s.: Behningiellidae LM13
    |           |--Behningiella Derzhavin 1948 LM13
    |           |    `--*B. brachypus Derzhavin 1948 B77
    |           |--Cardiophilus Sars 1896 LM13
    |           |    `--*C. baeri Sars 1896 B77
    |           `--Zernovia Derzhavin 1948 LM13
    |                `--*Z. volgensis Derzhavin 1948 B77
    |         Macrohectopus Stebbing 1906 [Macrohectopidae] LM13
    |           `--*M. branickii (Dyb. 1874) [=Gammarus branickii] B77
    |--+--+--Falklandellidae LM13
    |  |  |    |--Osornodella Pérez-Schultheiss 2013 LM13
    |  |  |    |--Praefalklandella Stock & Platvoet 1991 LM13
    |  |  |    `--Falklandella Schellenberg 1931 LM13
    |  |  |         `--*F. obtusa Schellenberg 1931 B77
    |  |  `--Paraleptamphopidae LM13
    |  |       |--Ringanui Fenwick 2006 LM13
    |  |       |--Rudolphia Grosso & Peralta 2009 LM13
    |  |       `--Paraleptamphopus Stebbing 1899 LM13
    |  |            |--*P. subterraneus (Chilton 1882) B83
    |  |            `--P. ceruleus B83
    |  `--+--Sensonator Notenboom 1986 [Sensonatoridae] LM13
    |     `--+--Mesogammaridae LM13
    |        |    |--Paramesogammarus Bousfield 1979 LM13
    |        |    `--Mesogammarus Tzvetkova 1965 LM13
    |        |         `--*M. melitoides Tzvetkova 1965 B77
    |        `--+--+--Gammaridae LM13
    |           |  `--+--Lucioblivio Tomikawa 2007 [Luciobliviidae] LM13
    |           |     `--Anisogammaridae LM13
    |           `--Phreatogammaridae LM13
    |                |--Caledonietta Iannilli & Ruffo 2007 LM13
    |                |--Ruffia Bréhier, Vonk & Jaume 2010 LM13
    |                `--Phreatogammarus Stebbing 1899 LM13
    |                     `--*P. fragilis (Chilton 1882) [=Gammarus fragilis] B77
    `--+--Pallaseidae LM13
       `--+--+--Bathyporeiidae LM13
          |  |    |--Amphiporeia Shoemaker 1929 LM13
          |  |    |    `--*A. lawrenciana Shoemaker 1929 B69
          |  |    `--Bathyporeia Lindstrom 1855 LM13 [incl. Thersites Bate 1857 non Pfeiffer 1855 B69]
          |  |         |--*B. pilosa Lindstrom 1855 B69
          |  |         |--B. gracilis Sars 1891 N00
          |  |         |--B. guilliamsoniana (Bate 1857) BD95 [=Thersites guilliamsonii N00]
          |  |         |--B. megalops Chevreux 1911 BD95
          |  |         |--B. norvegica Sars 1891 N00
          |  |         |--B. pelagica [incl. B. tenuipes Meinert 1877] N00
          |  |         |--B. phaiophthalma Bellan-Santini 1973 BD95
          |  |         |--B. robertsoni N00
          |  |         `--B. sophiae Bellan-Santini & Vader 1988 BD95
          |  `--Gammarellidae LM13
          |       |--Austroregia Barnard 1989 LM13
          |       |--Gondogeneia Barnard 1972 LM13
          |       |--Chosroes Stebbing 1888 LM13
          |       |    |--*C. incisus Stebbing 1888 B69
          |       |    `--C. decoratus Barnard 1932 B69
          |       `--Gammarellus Herbst 1793 LM13 (see below for synonymy)
          |            |--*G. homari (Fabricius 1779) [=Astacus homari] B77
          |            `--G. angulosus CS77
          `--+--+--Pontogammaridae LM13
             |  `--+--Iphigenella Sars 1896 [Iphigenellidae] LM13
             |     |    `--*I. acanthopoda Sars 1896 B77
             |     `--+--Baikalogammarus Stebbing 1899 [Baikalogammaridae] LM13
             |        |    `--*B. pullus (Dyb. 1874) [=Gammarus pullus] B77
             |        `--+--Acanthogammaridae LM13
             |           `--+--Micruropodidae LM13
             |              `--Typhlogammaridae LM13
             `--+--Pachyschesis Bazikalova 1945 [Pachyschesidae] LM13
                |     `--*P. branchialis (Dyb. 1874) [=Gammarus branchialis] B77
                `--Gammaracanthus Bate 1862 LM13 (see below for synonymy)
                     |  i. s.: *G. loricatus (Sabine 1821) [=Gammarus loricatus] B77
                     |           |--G. l. loricatus B50
                     |           `--G. l. baicalensis B50
                     |         G. insularis B50
                     |--G. lacustris Sars 1867 VVP01 (see below for synonymy)
                     `--+--G. aestuariorum Lomakina in Guryanova 1951 [incl. G. loricatus var. ostiorum] VVP01
                        `--G. caspius Sars 1896 VVP01 [=G. loricatus caspica B50]

Gammaracanthus Bate 1862 LM13 [incl. Pseudacanthus VVP01, Relictacanthus Bousfield 1989 VVP01; Gammaracanthidae LM13]

Gammaracanthus lacustris Sars 1867 VVP01 [=G. loricatus lacustris B50, Relictacanthus lacustris VVP01; incl. G. relictus Sars 1895 VVP01]

Gammarellus Herbst 1793 LM13 [incl. Amathia Rathke 1837 non Lamouroux 1812 B69, Amathilla Bate & Westwood 1863 B69, Grayia Bate 1862 B69]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BD95] Bakalem, A., & J.-C. Dauvin. 1995. Inventaire des crustacés amphipodes (Gammaridea, Caprellidea, Hyperiidea) des costes d'Algérie: essai de synthèse. Mésogée 54: 49–62.

[B69] Barnard, J. L. 1969. The families and genera of marine gammaridean Amphipoda. United States National Museum Bulletin 271: i–vi, 1–535.

[B77] Bousfield, E. L. 1977. A new look at the systematics of gammaroidean amphipods of the world. Crustaceana Suppl. 4: 282–316.

[B83] Bousfield, E. L. 1983. An updated phyletic classification and palaeohistory of the Amphipoda. In: Schram, F. R. (ed.) Crustacean Phylogeny pp. 257–277. A. A. Balkema.

[B50] Brooks, J. L. 1950. Speciation in ancient lakes. Quarterly Review of Biology 25: 30–60.

[CS77] Cramp, S., & K. E. L. Simmons (eds) 1977. Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palaearctic vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

[LM13] Lowry, J. K., & A. A. Myers. 2013. A phylogeny and classification of the Senticaudata subord. nov. (Crustacea: Amphipoda). Zootaxa 3610: 1–80.

[N00] Norman, A. M. 1900. British Amphipoda: families Pontoporeidae to Ampeliscidae. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 7, 5: 326–346.

[VVP01] Väinölä, R., J. K. Vainio & J. U. Palo. 2001. Phylogeography of “glacial relict” Gammaracanthus (Crustacea, Amphipoda) from boreal lakes and the Caspian and White Seas. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science 58: 2247–2257.

Last updated: 26 December 2021.

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