Tanaidacea

The tanaids (Fig. 23.1F), usually less than 10 mm length, resemble a slender isopod (below) with a pair of chelipeds. A unique feature of the tanaids is the fusion of the head with the first and second thoracic segments. Most tanaids fall into one of two major groups: the apseudomorphs, which have a somewhat flattened body, and tanaidomorphs, with a cylindrical body. Though seldom seen in the open, tanaids are abundant in reef sediments, seagrass, algae and hydrozoans where they burrow or build tubes from sand and fine particles. Despite their numerical abundance, however, the GBR tanaids are poorly known with only five of more than 800 known species formally recorded from the region.

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