First findings of decapod crustacea in the hadal zone

A. J. Jamieson, T. Fujii, M. Solan, A. K. Matsumoto, P. M. Bagley, I. G. Priede

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Since the first major hadal sampling efforts in the 1950s, crustaceans of the order Decapoda have been thought absent from the hadal zone (6000-11,000 m) with no representatives documented >5700 m. A baited video lander deployed at 6007, 6890 and 7966 m in the Kermadec Trench, 8798 and 9729 m in the Tonga Trench (SW Pacific), 6945 and 7703 m in the Japan Trench and 5469 m in the Marianas region (NW Pacific) has now revealed a conspicuous presence of the Benthesicymid prawn Benthesicymus crenatus Bate 1881. Decapods were observed at all sites except at 7966 m in the Kermadec Trench and the two Tonga Trench sites, making the deepest finding 7703 m in the Japan Trench, 2000 m deeper than previously thought. These natantian decapods were readily attracted to fish bait and, rather than feeding on the bait itself, were observed preying upon smaller scavenging amphipods. These are the first observations of predation in the hadal zone. In less than 10 h of bottom time, 12 observations of 10 individuals were documented at 6007 m and 5 observations of 3 individuals were documented at 6890 m in the Kermadec Trench. In the Japan Trench at 6945 m 29 observations of 20 individuals were documented whilst only one individual was seen at 7703 m. Two individuals were observed in the abyssal Marianas Region (5575 m). Also, in the Kermadec Trench, individual caridean prawns (Acanthephyra spp.) were observed at 6007 and 6890 m, proving categorically that the crustacean order of Decapoda is represented in the hadal zone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-647
Number of pages7
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr


  • Benthesicymus crenatus
  • Crustacea
  • Decapoda
  • Hadal zone
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Trenches


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