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Term Crustacean
Definition

Invertebrates belonging to the phylum Arthropoda, characteristically having a segmented body, a chitinous exoskeleton, and paired, jointed limbs. They include several well-known animal groups, such as lobster, crabs and shrimp, all of high commercial value.

Crustaceans are primarily aquatic and inhabit all depths, both in the marine environment and in brackish and fresh waters. A few have colonized the terrestrial environment, such as sow bugs (isopods).

Crustaceans are one of the zoological groups with the highest biological success, due to both the number of living species and the diversity of habitats they colonized. They are dominant in the seas, much like insects dominate the land. There are over 67,000 species of crustaceans in the world.

Of the 164 species of crustaceans reported in the Dominican Republic (excluding planktonic species) most are marine, living their entire lives in seawater. However, the decapods order includes important marine species that require brackish and fresh water for part of their life cycle. Decapod crustaceans (lobsters, shrimp, and crabs) are the most studied in the Dominican Republic.

The country has about 55 species of fresh water and terrestrial decapods. Of these, the river crab (Epilobocera haytensis) is the only crab that completes its life cycle in fresh water.

 
 

Additional Information
PhotoCrustacean- Crabs
Topic  BiodiversityProtected areasResources coastal / marine