||Generally one half inch in length or less.
||The common burrower amphipod is found in the subtidal zones of estuaries throughout the U.S. Atlantic coast from Cape Cod,
Massachusetts to northern Florida. They live in permanent tubes constructed from sand
grains and debris. Their tubes can be deeper than two inches in some areas of the Bay.
Common burrower amphipods live in both shallow and deep water as long as there is good
water flow. They prefer the oligohaline and mesohaline regions of the Chesapeake Bay.
||The common burrower amphipod breeds from March through November in the
Chesapeake Bay. Fertilization is internal and females brood their young in the marsupium located on the ventral surface of the abdomen. The number of eggs a female
produces depends on her size, meaning a larger female will produce more eggs than a
smaller female. On average, females can carry 10-40 eggs at a time. Females breed five
times in a year; however, this rate is greatly influenced by food availability and
||The common burrower amphipod lies inside its tube with its
head near the opening to filter plankton from the water.
||The common burrower amphipod is a favorite food item for
fishes, such as spot (Leiostomus xanthurus) and
croaker (Micropogonias undulatus),
and crabs, such as the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus).
||Amphipods have a segmented and laterally flattened body that contains the
head, the thorax, and the abdomen.
||This species of amphipod is often a dominant species with densities
sometimes reaching ³ 40,000 per square meter in the upper and
mid-Bay regions. Therefore, they are an ecologically important component of the Chesapeake
Bay benthic community.