Brandt & Poore, 2003

Main Page | Isopoda > Limnoriidea

Suggested Common Name: Gribbles and allies
Number of subordinate taxa: 69 species in 3 families, 14 species in a single family in our area.
Etymology: after Limnoria Leach, 1813, see genus for explanation
Taxonomic History: one of the many former members of Flabellifera, which was divided into seperate suborders over the course of the late 1980s to early 2000s.
Size Range: to 10mm
Description: Body generally compact, subparallel; sexual dimorphism moderate to absent, pleopod dimorphism restricted to presence or absence of appendix masculina. Antenna 1 not reduced, scale present (absent in Hadromastacidae). Antenna 2 lacking scale. Mandible incisor large, unicuspidate (sometimes with a lower second tooth); lacinia present (absent in Hadromastacidae); spine row present (absent in Hadromastacidae); molar absent; palp present or absent. Maxilla 1 biramous. Maxilla 2 exopod with 2 endites. Maxilliped epipod present (unknown in Hadromastacidae); basis elongate (compact in Keuphyliidae); endite elongate, subrectangular (short and broad in Keuphyliidae), not tapering; palp present, 5- or less segmented. Pereopods 2-7 coxae formed into coxal plates, variously free to fused with tergites. Penes generally separate, short. Pleon with all segments free (sometimes with pleonite 5 fused to telson). Pleonite 1 similar to others. Pleopod 1 not modified, not sexually dimorphic. Pleopod 2 slightly modified, slightly dimorphic mainly in the presence or absence of the appendix masculina. Pleopod 3 endopod ovate to subrectangular, tip rounded. Telson ventrally flattened, lacking a branchial chamber. Uropods set ventrolaterally or ventrally on telson, forming a tailfan with telson.
Type taxon: Limnoriidae White, 1850
Notes: This distinctive suborder contains mostly woodborers, with a few seagrass borers and a few genera with more generic ecologies. Based on the distributions of known families and genera, it is very likely this suborder originated from what is now the central Indopacific, with only 2 genera spreading to the Atlantic (both in Limnoriidae) and only one genus becoming cosmopolitan.
One extralimital family, the monogeneric Hadromastacidae, could potentially occur in tropical regions of the area. Hadromasticidae is unique among similar isopods in the articulation of the uropod exopod, which is anterior to the exopod and independently articulating from the exopod. The third family, Keuphyliidae, is only known from one species found in the Coral Sea off Australia and New Guinea.

Subordinate Taxa: Limnoriidae


Brandt, A., & Poore, G. C. (2003). Higher classification of the flabelliferan and related Isopoda based on a reappraisal of relationships. Invertebrate Systematics, 17(6):893-923.

Bruce, N. L. (1980). A new family of marine isopod (Flabellifera. Isopoda: Crustacea) from the reefs of the Coral Sea. Cahiers de l'Indo-pacifique. 2(2):175-183.

Bruce, N. L. (2004). Hadromastax dinamoraze sp. nov., the first occurrence of the family Hadromastacidae Bruce and Müller, (Isopoda, Crustacea, Limnoriidea) in the Indian Ocean. Journal of Natural History, 38(23-24):3113-3122.

Bruce, N. L., & Müller, H. G. (1991). A new family for the isopod crustacean genus Hadromastax Bruce, 1988, with a description of a new species from the Society Islands. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 101(1):51-58.

Cookson, L. J. (1991). Australasian species of Limnoriidae (Crustacea: Isopoda). Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria, 52(2):137-262.

Cookson, L. J., & Poore, G. C. (1994). New species of Lynseia and transfer of the genus to Limnoriidae (Crustacea: Isopoda). Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria, 54(1):79-189.

Published: Jan 1, 2023
Updated: Nov 1, 2023