Crustaceans are invertebrate animals in the phylum Arthropoda, subphylum Crustacea, and include the barnacle, crab, crayfish, lobster, shrimp, water flea, and pill bug. Although largely aquatic, a few crustaceans are found in terrestrial habitats. Of the nearly 40,000 aquatic species of crustaceans, only about 10% occur in freshwater habitats. Crustaceans have evolved a variety of specialized body forms and behaviors to cope with both aquatic and terrestrial environments, however, all crustaceans share several characteristics: a hard exoskeleton; jointed, paired appendages; and three body regions (head, thorax, and abdomen). The head and thorax regions are sometimes combined into a cephalothorax.
Crustacean biologists are continuing to discover new species from around the world. These biologists are also investigating the phylogenetic relationships, ecology, behavior, and physiology of crustaceans. Several crustaceans of great economic importance, such as lobsters and shrimps, are also examined from a managerial perspective.
Illinois Endangered and Threatened Crustacea - Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board
INHS crustacean-related research and projects are listed in our Annual Report.
See our Publications Catalog for crustacean-related material published at INHS.
Some past articles published in INHS Reports:
Species Spotlight: Terrestrial Isopods. Summer 2000
New Predator Invades the Great Lakes: Cercopagis pengoi. May-June 2000
INHS Crustacean Collection. March-April 1999
Status and Distribution of Daphnia lumholtzi Sars in Illinois . November-December 1998
The Rusty Crayfish in Illinois. November-December 1998
Introduced Crayfishes in Illinois. January-February 1996