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: (modified from Bruce & Poore, 2003) Antenna 1 with or without scale. Mandible lacinia present or absent; molar absent. Maxilliped endite reaching at least the tip of palp segment 4, slender, not tapering. Pereopods 1-7 coxae fused to tergites into coxal plates. Pereonite 7 dorsal coxal plate similar to others. Pleonites 1-5 free (sometimes pleonite 5 fused to telson). Pleonite 1 similar to others. Pleopods 3-5 endopods oval or rectangular, rounded distally. Telson underside flat, lacking lateral ridges. Uropods rami ventral to telson, articulating from side to side along vertical axis, or distal.
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. 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., & 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.

Published: Jan 1, 2023