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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Caridea
Superfamily: Physetocaridoidea
Chace, 1940
Family: Physetocarididae
Chace, 1940
Genus: Physetocaris
Chace, 1940
Species: P. microphthalma
Binomial name
Physetocaris microphthalma
Chace, 1940

Physetocaris is a monotypic genus of caridean shrimp, containing a single species,[1] Physetocaris microphthalma.


Physetocaris microphthalma is placed in its own family (Physetocarididae) and superfamily (Physetocaridoidea).[1] The genus and species were described in 1940 by Fenner A. Chace, Jr.


Adults have no eyes, and are missing the last segment of the first pereiopod, which is therefore unable to form a claw.[2] They also have reduced gills and mouthparts, and no exopods on the pereiopods.[2] The carapace is enlarged, and forms a tall rostrum.[2]


P. microphthalma is rare, with only 35 specimens counted in a 1985 review.[2] Although very poorly known, the distribution of Physetocaris appears to be very wide. In addition to specimens from both western and eastern parts of the Atlantic Ocean,[3][4] it has been found in the southern Pacific Ocean.[5]


  1. ^ a b Sammy De Grave; N. Dean Pentcheff; Shane T. Ahyong; et al. (2009). "A classification of living and fossil genera of decapod crustaceans" (PDF). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Suppl. 21: 1–109. 
  2. ^ a b c d Raymond T. Bauer (2004). "Physetocarididae". Remarkable Shrimps: Adaptations and Natural History of the Carideans. Animal natural history series. 7. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 65–66. ISBN 978-0-8061-3555-7. 
  3. ^ P. Foxton & P. J. Herring (1970). "Recent records of Physetocaris microphthalma Chace with notes on the male and description of the early larvae (Decapoda, Caridea)". Crustaceana. 18 (1): 93–104. doi:10.1163/156854070x00103. JSTOR 20101663. 
  4. ^ Isabella Gordon (1970). "Two early "Discovery" records of Physetocaris Chace (Decapoda, Caridea)". Crustaceana. 18 (1): 105–107. doi:10.1163/156854070x00112. JSTOR 20101664. 
  5. ^ Robert A. Wasmer (1985). "New records for Physetocaris microphthalma Chace (Decapoda, Caridea, Physetocarididae) from the South Pacific". Crustaceana. 49 (1): 315–318. doi:10.1163/156854085X00648. JSTOR 20104111.