Ghost Shrimp (Biffarius biformis)

Ghost Shrimp (Bifarrius biformis)

Location: 1-2 km offshore from Chincoteague, VA. Depths of 5-7 meters. Caught using an epibenthic sled (365 micrometer mesh).  Summer 2005.

Note the large dorsal spine on the abdomen (arrow), typically much larger than the spin on Crangon.

The genus “Callianassa” that formerly held all local ghost shrimps has been revised. Biffarius biformis is the new name for the most common mid-Atlantic species.

Biffarius biformis (telson)

ID Notes: The details of the telson, especially the large central spine distinguish the callianassid shrimps from Crangon and from similar decapod larvae.

Identification within the group is based on the overall spination pattern, but not all larvae of Atlantic and Gulf species are described.


Collected by: William S. Johnson, Goucher College