Wednesday 3 December 2014


Image: chickenvsdog
This is what happens when a whole crowd of minute E.T.s go for a swim!

Idiomysis is a genus of minuscule crustaceans that reach just a few millimetres in length. They belong to an order called Mysida.

Video: liquidguru

Most Mysids look a lot like shrimp. Their head and thorax is fused into a more or less slender cephalothorax with a long abdomen trailing off behind. They also have two pairs of antennae and large eyes on stalks.

Idiomysis simply alter some of the proportions.

Their cephalothorax is exceptionally rotund and they keep their abdomen curled up behind them like a cat's tail.

Video: mail4757

Also they have enormous eyes, rather than merely "large" ones.

With their extremities carefully tucked in and gigantic goggles on their face, they look like adorable, little space-farers. Or sinister, maybe. They'd look scary if they weren't smaller than most grains of rice.

Hordes of Idiomysis can be seen buzzing around various reef furniture like flies around exceptionally attractive turds.

Image: prilfish
Or long, towering turds with tentacles, which is more worrying. If you're eating something with tentacles, chew thoroughly.

Idiomysis are already incredibly tiny, but they start off life even smaller! Which I guess is pretty obvious but still.

Video: Distaplia

Mysids are also known as Opossum Shrimp because the females keep their eggs in a pouch called a marsupium (which comes from the Greek for "bag" or "pouch"). The male puts his sperm in there and the eggs eventually hatch directly into miniature adults, skipping over any larval period.

Giant eyes and a curly tail... If there's such a thing as space-kittens, these are they.


Esther said...

Why isn't there a masive internet following for these critters? They are adorable!

Lear's Fool said...


I half expected to find out that a third of Japan's youth had them in little eco-globes or something! Way cooler than brine shrimp!

TexWisGirl said...

cute little things, but in the first photo they look like dandruff. :)

Porakiya said...

quite the cute little buggers, indeed. but what if they are from space?

BK said...

Best one yet: A fish that has its anus and genitals on its head in both genders! Phallostethus Cuulong

Joseph JG said...

@Esther: So true! They need a cartoon!

@Lear's Fool: Yeah! I'm trying to imagine the cosplay!

@TexWisGirl: Hahaha! Be cool if dandruff would swim away!

@Porakiya Draekojin: Then we can welcome our adorable overlords!

@Bk Jeong: Wow... now that's one insulting fish!

Porakiya said...

@BK: gives new meaning to "dick head"

BK said...

Haha yes it does!

Joseph JG said...


BK said...

I had no idea such a thing could exist, but it does.

Porakiya said...

I just googled some images of them annnnd......I pity the females

Porakiya said...

but that serrated spike on the males junk!

Joseph JG said...

Hahah! It only gets worse!