General Description

Body very flat and round, head inset into the first body segment with a pair of kidney shaped eyes on top. Body segments with strong ridge of midlateral crenulations. The first legs are a pair of solid claws. Up to 9 mm long.


Sand skaters use their discoid shape and camouflage to swim and walk about invisibly on the surface of sand in marine environments. They feed on the organic matter found in the sand. They are sometimes likened to extinct fossil trilobites but the resemblance of course is no more than superficial. Deep water and some Antarctic relatives grow to 10 cm long.


Southern temperate oceans, including south-eastern Australia.


Subtidal sand and mud, 0-40 m depth.

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