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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Sand Hopper Orchestia gammarella

Amphipod crustaceans, such as the sand hopper, live in large numbers in the splash zone of any shore where there is rotting seaweed. Their life cycle takes about 12 months and the female usually produces only one clutch of eggs, which she keeps in a brood pouch, where they hatch after one to three weeks. The young leave the pouch about a week later when their mother molts. Sand hoppers are also known as sand fleas because they move in the same way and have similar laterally compressed bodies.

Sand Hopper habitat mapzoom image
  • Subphylum Crustacea
  • Length – in (2–10 mm)
  • Habitat Splash zone of sandy shores
  • Distribution Atlantic coasts of northeastern Canada and northwestern Europe