Marine Biology

, Volume 144, Issue 4, pp 723–734 | Cite as

Burrow morphology of the ghost shrimp Nihonotrypaea petalura (Decapoda: Thalassinidea: Callianassidae) from western Kyushu, Japan

  • K. ShimodaEmail author
  • A. Tamaki
Research Article


The callianassid shrimp Nihonotrypaea petalura (Stimpson, 1860) is a common member on boulder beaches in Japanese waters. Its burrow morphology was investigated, based on 28 resin casts collected from a steeply sloping beach with dense boulders and 30 from a more gently sloping beach with less dense boulders in Ariake Sound, southern Japan. The structure and dimensions of the burrows from the two beaches were basically the same, and thus a combined mean value could be given to most of their constituent elements. In its entire dimensions, the burrow is greater in lateral extent than depth, with a mean maximum horizontal extension of 145 mm and a mean maximum depth of 119 mm for the shrimp with a mean total length of 31.8 mm. The burrow winds along boulders or cobbles and consists of, from top to bottom, a single surface opening with an ejected mound, a top shaft leading to the uppermost chamber at a mean depth of 48–56 mm, a passage with a regular cross section that is wider than that of the top shaft, and bulbous chambers (mean no.=4.7) with an irregular cross section associated with branches (mean no. per burrow=1.2). Bulbous chambers are much larger than the uppermost chamber and are usually connected by passages, with some directly attached to each other. The combined architecture of these features is unique and relatively simple among the burrows of all callianassid species, the majority of which inhabit bare soft sediments. The structure and function of the N. petalura burrow are discussed in relation to lifestyle.


Cobble Lower Tide Level Ghost Shrimp Burrow Opening Laboratory Aquarium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



A. Shimoda, K. Harada, K. Koyama, and Dr. Y. Wardiatno assisted in the field and laboratory. Thanks are due to Dr. K. Kuwano for the identification of seaweed species. The manuscript was improved by the constructive comments of the three anonymous referees. This study was partly supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) 12640618, (S) 13854006, and (C) 15570018.


  1. Atkinson RJA, Nash RDM (1990) Some preliminary observations on the burrows of Callianassa subterranea (Montagu) (Decapoda: Thalassinidea) from the west coast of Scotland. J Nat Hist 24:403–413Google Scholar
  2. Berkenbusch K, Rowden AA (2000) Intraspecific burrow plasticity of an intertidal population of Callianassa filholi (Crustacea: Decapoda: Thalassinidea) in relation to environmental conditions. N Z J Mar Freshw Res 34:397–408Google Scholar
  3. Bird FL, Poore GCB (1999) Functional burrow morphology of Biffarius arenosus (Decapoda: Callianassidae) from southern Australia. Mar Biol 134:77–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Buchanan JB (1984) Sediment analysis. In: Holme NA, McIntyre AD (eds) Methods for the study of marine benthos, 2nd edn. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, pp 41–65Google Scholar
  5. Dworschak PC (1983) The biology of Upogebia pusilla (Petagna) (Decapoda, Thalassinidea) I. The burrows. Pubbl Stn Zool Napoli Mar Ecol 4:19–43Google Scholar
  6. Dworschak PC (1987) Feeding behaviour of Upogebia pusilla and Callianassa tyrrhena (Crustacea, Decapoda, Thalassinidea). Investig Pesq 51 (Suppl 1):421–429Google Scholar
  7. Dworschak PC (1998) Observations on the biology of the burrowing mud shrimps Callianassa tyrrhena and C. candida (Decapoda: Thalassinidea). J Nat Hist 32:1535–1548Google Scholar
  8. Dworschak PC (2000) On the burrows of Lepidophthalmus louisianensis (Schmitt 1935) (Decapoda: Thalassinidea: Callianassidae). Senckenberg Marit 30:99–104Google Scholar
  9. Dworschak PC (2001) The burrows of Callianassa tyrrhena (Petagna 1792) (Decapoda: Thalassinidea). Pubbl Stn Zool Napoli Mar Ecol 22:155–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dworschak PC (2002) The burrows of Callianassa candida (Olivi 1972) and C. whitei Sakai 1999 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Thalassinidea). In: Bright M, Dworschak PC, Stachowitsch M (eds) The Vienna school of marine biology: a tribute to Jörg Ott. Facultas Universitätsverlag, Vienna, pp 63–71Google Scholar
  11. Dworschak PC, Ott JA (1993) Decapod burrows in mangrove-channel and back-reef environments at the Atlantic Barrier Reef, Belize. Ichnos 2:277–290Google Scholar
  12. Felder DL (2001) Diversity and ecological significance of deep-burrowing macrocrustaceans in coastal tropical waters of the Americas (Decapoda: Thalassinidea). Interciencia 26:440–449Google Scholar
  13. Flach E, Tamaki A (2001) Competitive bioturbators on intertidal sand flats in the European Wadden Sea and Ariake Sound in Japan. In: Reise K (ed) Ecological comparisons of sedimentary shores. (Ecological studies, vol 151) Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 149–171Google Scholar
  14. Forster S, Graf G (1995) Impact of irrigation on oxygen flux into the sediment: intermittent pumping by Callianassa subterranea and “piston-pumping” by Lanice conchilega. Mar Biol 123:335–346Google Scholar
  15. Frey RW (1973) Concepts in the study of biogenic sedimentary structures. J Sedim Petrol 43:6–19Google Scholar
  16. Griffis RB, Chavez FL (1988) Effects of sediment type on burrows of Callianassa californiensis Dana and C. gigas Dana. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 177:239–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Griffis RB, Suchanek TH (1991) A model of burrow architecture and trophic modes in thalassinidean shrimp (Decapoda: Thalassinidea). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 79:171–183Google Scholar
  18. Hamano T (1990) How to make casts of the burrows of benthic animals with polyester resin (in Japanese with English abstract). Benthos Res 39:15–19Google Scholar
  19. Kimura H, Harada K, Hara K, Tamaki A (2002) Enzymatic approach to fungal association with arthropod guts: a case study for the crustacean host, Nihonotrypaea harmandi, and its foregut fungus, Enteromyces callianassae. Pubbl Stn Zool Napoli Mar Ecol 23:157–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. MacGinitie GE, MacGinitie N (1968) Natural history of marine animals, 2nd edn. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Manning RB, Tamaki A (1998) A new genus of ghost shrimp from Japan (Crustacea: Decapoda: Callianassidae). Proc Biol Soc Wash 111:889–892Google Scholar
  22. Miller MF, Curran HA (2001) Behavioral plasticity of modern and Cenozoic burrowing thalassinidean shrimp. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 166:219–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mukai H, Koike I (1984) Behavior and respiration of the burrowing shrimps Upogebia major (de Haan) and Callianassa japonica (de Haan). J Crustac Biol 4:191–200Google Scholar
  24. Nickell LA, Atkinson RJA (1995) Functional morphology of burrows and trophic modes of three thalassinidean shrimp species, and a new approach to the classification of thalassinidean burrow morphology. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 128:181–197Google Scholar
  25. Ohshima K (1967) Burrows of Japanese Thalassinidea (in Japanese). Earth Sci (Chikyu Kagaku) 21:11–18Google Scholar
  26. SPSS (1999) SPSS base 10.0. Applications guide. SPSS, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  27. Swinbanks DD (1981) Sedimentology photo by David Swinbanks. J Sedim Petrol 51:1146Google Scholar
  28. Tamaki A (2003) A rebuttal to Sakai (2001): “A review of the common Japanese callianassid species, Callianassa japonica and C. petalura (Decapoda, Thalassinidea)”. Crustaceana 76:115–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tamaki A, Miyabe S (2000) Larval abundance patterns for three species of Nihonotrypaea (Decapoda: Thalassinidea: Callianassidae) along an estuary-to-open-sea gradient in western Kyushu, Japan. J Crustac Biol 20 (Spec no. 2):182–191Google Scholar
  30. Tamaki A, Ueno H (1998) Burrow morphology of two callianassid shrimps, Callianassa japonica Ortmann, 1891 and Callianassa sp. (= C. japonica: de Man, 1928) (Decapoda: Thalassinidea). Crustac Res 27:28–39Google Scholar
  31. Tamaki A, Ikebe K, Muramatsu K, Ingole B (1992) Utilization of adult burrows by juveniles of the ghost shrimp, Callianassa japonica Ortmann: evidence from resin casts of burrows. Res Crustac 21:113–120Google Scholar
  32. Tamaki A, Ingole B, Ikebe K, Muramatsu K, Taka M, Tanaka M (1997) Life history of the ghost shrimp, Callianassa japonica Ortmann (Decapoda: Thalassinidea), on an intertidal sandflat in western Kyushu, Japan. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 210:223–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tamaki A, Itoh J, Kubo K (1999) Distributions of three species of Nihonotrypaea (Decapoda: Thalassinidea: Callianassidae) in intertidal habitats along an estuary to open-sea gradient in western Kyushu, Japan. Crustac Res 28:37–51Google Scholar
  34. Utashiro T, Lebensspuren Research Group (1972) Ecology and burrows of Callianassa japonica Ortmann: biological studies of “Lebensspuren” part XIV (in Japanese with English abstract). Memoirs of Takada Branch, Faculty of Education, Niigata University 17:213–249Google Scholar
  35. Vaugelas J de (1990) Ecologie des Callianasses (Crustacea, Decapoda, Thalassinidea) en milieu récifal Indo-Pacifique. Conséquences du remaniement sédimentaire sur la distribution des matieres humiques, des métaux traces et des radionucléides. Habilitation, Université de Nice—Sophia AntipolisGoogle Scholar
  36. Wardiatno Y, Shimoda K, Koyama K, Tamaki A (2003) Zonation of congeneric callianassid shrimps, Nihonotrypaea harmandi (Bouvier 1901) and N. japonica (Ortmann 1891) (Decapoda: Thalassinidea), on intertidal sandflats in the Ariake-Sound estuarine system, Kyushu, Japan. Benthos Res 58:51–73Google Scholar
  37. Ziebis W, Forster S, Huettel M, Jørgensen BB (1996) Complex burrows of the mud shrimp Callianassa truncata and their geochemical impact in the sea bed. Nature 382:619–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marine Research InstituteNagasaki UniversityNagasakiJapan

Personalised recommendations