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Temporal range: Permian–Present
Eoph MagelaT site2.jpg
Eophreatoicus, a freshwater isopod from Kakadu National Park, Australia
Scientific classification

Stebbing, 1893 [1]

Phreatoicidea is a suborder of isopod crustaceans. Extant species are confined to freshwater environments in South Africa, India, and Oceania.[2] This seemingly Gondwana-derived distribution belies the fact that the group once had a cosmopolitan distribution; fossils which can be assigned to the Phreatoicidea are the oldest isopod fossils, and are found throughout the world.[3][4] In the intervening 325 million years, phreatoicideans have changed little, and are thus considered living fossils.[5]

The first Australian phreatoicidean was described by Charles Chilton in 1891.[5] Two families are represented in Australia: Amphisopodidae in the interior of Australia, and in the west, and Phreatoicidae in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Phreatoicidea". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
  2. ^ J. K. Lowry. "Phreatoicidea (Isopoda, Peracarida, Malacostraca)". Crustacea: The Higher Taxa. Australian Museum. Retrieved February 20, 2009.
  3. ^ Richard Brusca (August 6, 1997). "Isopoda". Tree of Life Web Project.
  4. ^ Frederick R. Schram (1970). "Isopod from the Pennsylvanian of Illinois". Science. 169 (3948): 854–855. doi:10.1126/science.169.3948.854. PMID 5432581.
  5. ^ a b Buz Wilson. "About phreatoicidean isopods in Australia". University of Sydney. Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2009.
  6. ^ Buz Wilson. "Localities of Australian Phreatoicidea". University of Sydney. Archived from the original on October 8, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2009.

External links[edit]