E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Callianopsis goniophthalma (Rathbun, 1901)
Fossil Mud Shrimp; Slope Ghost Shrimp
Family: Callianassidae

Photo of species

© Aaron Baldwin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #43629)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Callianopsis goniophthalma in British Columbia
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Species Information

Shrimp-like. Carapace smooth and membranous with a slight elevation on mid-dorsal margin. Rostrum small but distinct and sharp pointed. Antennules and antennae setose with long slender flagella. Eyestalk sub-oblong, with a small tooth, and cornea without dark pigment. Third maxillipeds pediform and dactyls semicircular. Chelipeds unlike and unequal in size. Larger cheliped much longer than carapace, with narrow merus with a ventral marginal tooth; carpus wide with slightly convex outer surface and hand with sharp margins and a gape between fingers of male but not of female. Small cheliped slender with subequal merus and carpus which are shorter than hand. 1st walking leg chelate, 2nd and 3rd with simple dactyls and last subchelate with a flared tip on dactyl. Abdomen more than twice as long as carapace, with narrow pleura and a sharp tooth on either side of 6th segment. Tail fan with sub-rectangular telson slightly shorter than uropods and no tooth on distal margin. 1st pair of pleopods of male are gonopods with the terminal part flat and boat-shaped, 2nd to 5th foliaceous. Female with 1st pair of pleopods biramous and slender, and 2nd to 5th foliaceous.


Total length: male 130 mm, female 100 mm.




Deep water probably in burrows.



Clarence Strait, Alaska, to off Harris Point, San Miguel Island, California; from 483 to 651 m.
Distribution In British Columbia

No known record but it undoubtedly occurs in British Columbia waters because it has been taken in Clarence Strait, northeast of Queen Charlotte Islands and from off the mouth of the Columbia River.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Notes

This species is known as the Slope Ghost Shrimp. This group of shrimps are known by various common names, including ghost shrimps, burrowing shrimps, mud prawns, crawfish (Virginia Tech 1996). "Although ghost shrimp are harvested as bait along the entire west coast of the United States, they are considered by some to be important pests of commercial oyster-growing operations in the Pacific Northwest. They are believed to destabilize the substrate, smother oysters with debris, anddrain off water (through their burrows) from diked oyster beds. Ghost shrimp are harvested by commercial bait fishermen and recreational fishermen in California, Oregon, and Washington" (Virginia Tech 1996). "Ghost shrimp live in burrows in the intertidal sand or mudflats of west coast bays and estuaries. Entrances to ghost shrimp burrows may be observed in the center of small conical hills of sand and small pebbles. The ghost shrimp digs tunnels branching in all directions, forming complex burrows with various numbers of openings. Ghost shrimp are common residents of eelgrass beds in the Pacific Northwest." (Virginia Tech 1996). This group of shrimp sifts food from the substrate and filters detrtitus and plankton (Virginia Tech 1996)

Note Author: R. Klinkenberg July 2009.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Callianassa goniophthalma M. J. Rathbun, 1902

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-07-16 5:12:56 AM]
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