The small shrimp like animal (amphipod) known as Dyopedos lives in great numbers on the seabed in Filey Bay near Flamborough Head. Dyopedos can spin threads of mucus to bind together bits of mud, small fragments and its own faeces to form a sort of ‘fishing rod’, which rises up from the seabed. It then sits near the top of the rod, feeding on passing plankton and other organic matter. When young are born they remain with their parent on the ‘fishing rod’ until they grow.
Studies of fish stomachs have shown that Dyopedos is an important diet and can be around 9% of the stomach contents. The little animal move to the bottom of the rod when threatened by fish, which eat the tip of the rod, rather than Dyopedos.
The photograph above is reproduced from the beautifully illustrated Norwegian site www.seawater.no with kind permission.
S. Mattson,T. Cedhagen, 1989 – Aspects of the behaviour and ecology of Dyopedos monacanthus (Metzger) and D. porrectus Bate, with comparative notes on Dulichia tuberculataBoeck (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Podoceridae) . Department of Zoology, University of Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Volume 127, Issue 3, 6 June 1989, Pages 253–272.
Martin Thiel, 1997 - Reproductive Biology of an Epibenthic Amphipod (Dyopedos Monacanthus) With Extended Parental Care. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom (1997), 77 : pp 1059-1072
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