Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

Ostracoda (Podocopa).

Ostracoda (Podocopa).

A marine ostracod from southern Australia.

A marine ostracod from southern Australia.


Regional Maps

Class OSTRACODA Latreille, 1802

Seed Shrimp, Mussel Shrimp

Compiler and date details

March 2012 - Dr Anna Syme, Museum Victoria (updated to February 2012).

December 2010 - Dr Anna Syme, Museum Victoria

30 May 2007 - Dr Ivana Karanovic, Western Australian Museum, Perth (currently at Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery)


Ostracods are one of the most speciose groups of living Crustacea. There are an estimated >20,000 living species, of which approximately 8,000 have been described. Ostracods have the best fossil record of any arthropods dating to >425 million years. This group of crustaceans is essentially aquatic, inhabiting both marine and non-marine environments. Some taxa are adapted to a semi-terrestrial life, for example, living in damp leaf-litter. The majority are free living, but some are commensal on other crustaceans, echinoderms and sharks. Approximately 2000 species are non-marine (Martens et. al. 2008). The two ostracod subclasses — Myodocopa and Podocopa — might not be closely related. The Myodocopa contains the Halocyprida (marine, mostly planktonic) and the Myodocopida (marine, benthic or living at various depths). The Podocopa contains the Podocopida (freshwater or marine) and Platycopida (marine). More information on general ostracod morphology can be found in Cohen et al. (2007). A database of all fossil and living world species is presented in Kempf (1986 and later editions).



Small crustaceans, characterised by a bivalved carapace that totally encloses the body and appendages. The body shows reduced trunk segmentation and 5–8 pair of limbs, which are protruded from the gaping valves for locomotion. They are typically 0.5–2.0 mm long in the adult stage; however, some interstitial forms are as small as 0.2 mm, some freshwater species attain 8.0 mm and the pelagic marine genus Gigantocypris reaches 32 mm.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
28-Mar-2012 28-Mar-2012 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)