Guide to the Coastal Marine Isopods of California

Richard Brusca, Vania R. Coelho, and Stefano Taiti

Table of Contents

Suborder Microcerberidea

(Key references: Lang, 1960; Wägele et al., 1995)

Being tiny (less than 2 mm in length) and cryptic, members of this suborder are overlooked by most collectors. Microcerberids resemble anthurid isopods in having an elongate body and subchelate first pereopods. However, they are most closely related to the Asellota, with which they share the terminal styliform uropods and many other features. An asellote species, Caecianiropsis psammophila, also lives interstitially in intertidal sands of central California and shows the same adaptations to this habitat as microcerberids, i.e. elongation, small size, and loss of eyes and pigmentation. Only one species of microcerberid has been reported from California waters, Coxicerberus abbotti (formerly placed in the genus Microcerberus), known from the interstitial environment in the Monterey Bay area (figure 72).

About This Page

Richard Brusca
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, Arizona, USA

Vania R. Coelho
Dominican University of California, San Rafael, California, USA

Stefano Taiti

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Richard Brusca at and Vania R. Coelho at

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