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Major Groups of Decapods


The classification of the Decapoda has been studied, revised and revised again. Following the Challenger expedition, Bate (1888) identified the Suborder Macrura and three divisions within this; the Trichobranchiata, the Dendrobranchiata and the Phyllobranchiata. The name Macrura refers to the long tail and well developed abdomen of most decapods. While Bate's three divisions are no longer accepted, the terms refer to the three main gill types seen in decapods, trichobranchiate, dendrobranchiate and phyllobranchiate.

In 1907, Borradaile divided the Decapoda into two suborders, the Natantia and Reptantia. The Natantia (meaning "swimmers") are all those forms that swam in the water column and include the tribes Penaeides, Carides and Stenopides. It has since been found to be an unnatural group, with members derived from different ancestors. On the other hand, reptant (meaning "crawling") decapods turn out to be a true group (clade).

So, where does decapod classification stand at the moment? Unfortunately there is no up-to-date listing, which includes both fossil and extant clades, but the classification given here (although ignoring groups only found as fossils) does show which taxa have fossil lineages.

 Order

 Suborder

 Infraorder

 Common Name
 DECAPODA Latreille, 1802  DENDROBRANCHIATA Bate, 1888  

 Shrimp
   PLEOCYEMATA, Burkenroad, 1963  STENOPODOIDEA Claus, 1872

 Shrimp
     CARIDEA Dana, 1852

 Shrimp
     THALASSINOIDEA Latreille, 1802

 Shrimp
     ASTACIDEA Latreille, 1802

 Lobsters
     PALINURA Latreille, 1802

 Lobsters
     ANOMURA MacLeay, 1838

 Crabs
     BRACHYURA Latreille, 1802

 Crabs