The mysidaceans (Fig. 23.1D) resemble juvenile decapod shrimps, and usually do not exceed 20 mm in length. Though mysids superficially resemble decapod shrimps, an important distinction is the position of the statocyst (balance organ resembling a circular pore). The statocyst of mysids is located at the base of each branch of the tailfan, instead of the base of the first pair of antennae in decapods. Unlike other peracarids, mysidaceans have a well-developed carapace and stalked, instead of fixed, eyes. Most mysids are omnivorous suspension feeders, and form dense schools near the bottom or in the water column. Some species, how ever, have more particular associations, such as the red and white Heteromysis harpaxoides, which lives with hermit crabs inside the gastropod shell. More than 800 species in more than 120 genera occur worldwide, with around 50 species on the GBR.
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