Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 July 2021 | 13(8): 19118–19124


ISSN 0974-7907 (Online) | ISSN 0974-7893 (Print)

#6109 | Received 07 May 2020 | Final received 06 Jun 2020 | Finally accepted 07 July 2021



First record of ghost shrimp Corallianassa coutierei (Nobili, 1904) (Decapoda: Axiidea: Callichiridae) from Indian waters


Piyush Vadher 1, Hitesh Kardani 2, Prakash Bambhaniya 3  & Imtiyaz Beleem 4


1,2,3 Fisheries Research Station, Junagadh Agricultural University, Sikka, Jamnagar, Gujarat 361140, India.

4 Office of the Superintendent of Fisheries, (Commissioner of Fisheries, Agriculture, Farmer Welfare and Co-operation Department) Fisheries harbour area, Mangrol, Gujarat 362226, India.

1, 2 (corresponding author), 3, 4



Editor: A. Biju Kumar, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, India.  Date of publication: 26 July 2021 (online & print)


Citation: Vadher, P., H. Kardani, P. Bambhaniya & I. Beleem (2021). First record of ghost shrimp Corallianassa coutierei (Nobili, 1904) (Decapoda: Axiidea: Callichiridae) from Indian waters. Journal of Threatened Taxa 13(8): 19118–19124.


Copyright: © Vadher et al. 2021. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  JoTT allows unrestricted use, reproduction, and distribution of this article in any medium by providing adequate credit to the author(s) and the source of publication.


Funding: Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh.


Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: The authors are thankful to Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh for providing necessary facilities and encouragement. The authors would like to acknowledge officials of Marine National Park & Sanctuary for providing support.  The authors are also thankful to the Technical Staff Fisheries Research Station, Junagadh Agricultural University, Sikka for assisting data collection in the field. Authors are thankful to Dr. Peter Dworschak (Dritte Zoologische Abteilung, Naturhistorisches Museum, Burgring, Wien, Austria) for suggestions and identification.




Abstract: A Callichiridae ghost shrimp species Corallianassa coutierei (Nobili, 1904) is recorded and described here for the first time from the Indian waters. Formerly, five species under the family Callichiridae were recorded from different coastal waters of India. In addition, C. coutierei was infested with several copepods. Additional description of C. coutierei with key characters and distribution status is given for this species. A comprehensive checklist of the infraorder Axiidea is prepared based on previous records from Indian waters.


Keywords: Checklist, copepods, new record, Goose reef, Gulf of Kachchh, Gujarat.




Axiidea de Saint Laurent, 1979, an infraorder of Decapoda is also known as ghost shrimp, mud shrimp or burrowing shrimp (Dworschak et al. 2012), although they are only distantly related to true shrimp, they are ecologically and morphologically adapted as burrowing forms (Dworschak 2015). Axiidea is the infaunal organisms that build complex burrows, found in marine and estuarine areas of bays (Golubinskay et al. 2016). Axiidea comprises a total of 11 valid families (WoRMS 2020a) dwelling in shallow water of intertidal or subtidal water (less than 200 m or 660 ft). Axiidea comprises 19 species belonging to five families and 16 genera, distributed in the Indian waters (Table 1). Family Callichiridae comprises of 96 species belonging to 17 genera worldwide (WoRMS 2020b).

The ghost shrimp genus Corallianassa was described by Manning in 1987 from America (family: Callianassidae Dana, 1852). The genus Corallianassa comprises 13 species in the World (WoRMS 2020c). A scrutiny of literature pertaining to ghost shrimps of Indian waters revealed that the genus Corallianassa is hitherto not reported from Indian waters. Therefore, the present taxon, including the genus is the first report from Indian waters.

Ghost shrimp can be the host for copepods. The cavity between the shell and body of the ghost shrimp can be a favourable site for these associated arthropods. Only a few accounts on the copepods of ghost shrimps have been described and recorded worldwide (Pillai 1959; Corsetti & Strasserm 2003; Kihara & Rocham 2013; Sepahvand et al. 2017a,b, 2019). From India Pillai (1959) had recorded and described two new species of Clausidium Kossmann, 1874 parasitic on Callianassa Leach, 1814 (in Leach, 1813–1815). Many researchers suggested their relationship as symbiont (Corsetti & Strasser 2003; Kihara & Rocha 2013) while many suggested them as parasites (Wilson 1935, 1937; Pearse 1947; Humes 1949; Pillai 1959). In this study, C. coutierei infested with copepods (Clausidium sp.) on the carapace region (Image 3b) can be either parasitic or symbiotic, although all the clausidiid copepods are categerised as parasitic upon different species of Corallianassa (Wilson 1935). Hence, this study reports Corallianassa genus infested with copepods for the first time from Indian waters.


Materials and Methods

The present study was carried out at Goose reef (22.498N & 69.808E) in the Gulf of Kachchh, Gujarat (Image 1). Intertidal area of the Island is having a sandy shore, rocky shore, and coral reefs. Goose reef is under tremendous anthropogenic pressure of various industries which have constructed their offshore terminals. A single live specimen was collected, which was hidden in the sandy zone of the island. The collected specimen was transferred to the laboratory of Fisheries Research Station, Junagadh Agricultural University, Sikka. Identification was carried out through standard literature of (Man 1905; Ngoc-Ho 2005; Dworschak 2018) and communication with experts.

Size of the specimen is indicated by carapace length (cl) measured from the tip of the rostrum to the midpoint of the posterodorsal margin of the carapace and the total length (tl) measured from the tip of the rostrum to the midpoint of the posterodorsal margin of the telson. A comprehensive checklist was compiled and prepared based on previous literatures and publications of an infraorder Axiidea from Indian waters (Table 1).



We report the ghost shrimp C. coutierei (Nobili, 1904) along with an associated species of copepod Clausidium Kossmann, 1874 for the first time in Indian waters (Image 2c,d). A comprehensive checklist of an Infraorder Axiidea listed a total of 19 species belonging to five families and 16 genera with distribution status in Indian waters is provided (Table 1).  Maximum species were reported belonging to the family Callichiridae (six genera, six species) followed by Axiidae (four genera, six species), Callianassidae (four genera, five species), Callianideidae (one genus, one species), and Callianopsidae (one genus, one species).



Class: Malacostraca Latreille, 1802

Order: Decapoda Latreille, 1802

Infraorder: Axiidea De Saint Laurent, 1979

Family: Callichiridae Manning & Felder, 1991

Genus: Corallianassa Manning, 1987


Corallianassa coutierei (Nobili, 1904) (Image 2 & 3)


Callianassa (Callichirus) coutierei Nobili, 1904

Callianassa (Callichirus) placida de Man, 1905

Callianassa coutierei (Nobili, 1904)

Callianassa placida de Man, 1905

Callichirus placidus (de Man, 1905)

Corallichirus placidus (de Man, 1905)

Glypturus coutierei (Nobili, 1904)


Material examined

FRSACDA1, 04.i.2018, 1 male, tl 75mm, Goose reef (22.494N & 69.802E), Intertidal zone of sandy shore, coll. Prakash Bambhaniya.



Dorsal oval shaped as long as carapace, rostrum with acute anterolateral carapace spine (Image 2b), shorter than eyestalk. Cornea large. Third maxilliped- merus-ischium with 2.2 times as long as wide, merus shorter than ischium, ischium with crista dentata mesially, propodus as wide as long, dactylus shorter than propodus width about 0.2 of propodus. Cheliped distinctly unequal in shape. Major cheliped massive, ischium unarmed anteriorly, lower margin possesses four teeth increasing gradually in size; merus having row of tubercles at lower margin; carpus broader than long; propodus smooth; cutting edge of fixed fingers sharp with small sharp triangular tooth proximally; dactylus longer than fixed finger, cutting edge sharp, unarmed. Minor cheliped relatively stout; ischium with four teeth distally increasing gradually in size, merus and carpus unarmed; propodus twice longer than carpus; cutting edge of fixed finger with median small sharp tooth; dactylus slightly longer than fixed finger, cutting edge sharp, unarmed. Third pereopod as long as high. Telson trapezoid in shape as wide as long. Uropod, endopod oval shaped, longer than telson; uropodal exopod with strongly elevated dorsal plate, as long as endopod.



Entire animal whitish; carapace tinge of orange spots; chelipeds light brown with white blotches.



Present species was found hidden in sandy shore of Goose reef during low tide.



Arabian Gulf (Ngoc-Ho 2005); Djibouti (Sakai 1999; Dworschak 2018); Fiji (Sakai 2005); French Polynesia (Ngoc-Ho 2005); Gilbert Islands (Sakai 1999); Hawaii (Edmondson 1944); Indonesia (Man 1905; Aguilera et al. 1986; Sakai 1999); Iran (Sepahvand et al. 2013); Madagascar (Sakai 1999; Ngoc-Ho 2005); Maldives (Borradaile 1904; Man 1928); Papua New Guinea (Dworschak 2018); Philippines (Sakai 1999; Dworschak 2018); Tahiti (Sakai 1999).

India: This species is reported from Goose reef, Gulf of Kachchh, Gujarat (present study).



Taxonomical characters of the present specimen examined agree well with the detailed description given by Dworschak (2018). C. coutierei resembles C. longiventris (A. Milne-Edwards, 1870) but differentiated by the shape of major and minor chelipeds. Cheliped is slenderer in C. longiventris with triangular carpus, whereas the carpus is rectangular in C. coutierei. Sepahvand et al. (2017a) reported two species of copepods, Clausidium makranensis Sepahvand & Kihara, 2018 and C. sarii Sepahvand & Kihara, 2018 from Neocallichirus natalensis (Barnard, 1947) and Corallianassa martensi (Miers, 1884), respectively. This was observed in C. coutierei associated as C. martensi in this report, and it is also documented in other species Corallianassa (Pearse, 1947; Sephavand et al. 2017a).



From India, with regards to family Callichiridae, six species are recorded, namely, Audacallichirus audax (de Man, 1911), Balsscallichirus masoomi (Tirmizi, 1970), Karumballichirus karumba (Poore & Griffin, 1979), Michaelcallianassa indica K. Sakai, 2002,  Neocallichirus jousseaumei (Nobili, 1904), and Corallianassa coutierei (Nobili, 1904) (present study) (Table 1). The present investigation reports the occurrence of C. coutierei in association with Clausidium for the first time from the Indian waters. The longer duration of their relationship inclines to assume that they might be in symbiotic association. Further detailed research is required to understand the relationship of copepods (either symbiotic or parasitic). Study is also required on ghost shrimps pertaining to diversity, life history, ecology which are still lacking in India. Molecular analysis of copepods and ghost shrimps can be performed to understand their range of extension towards the Indian waters.



Table 1. Checklist of the infraorder Axiidea of Indian waters.












Ambiaxius alcocki (McArdle, 1900)

Radhakrishnan et al. 2012; Samuel et al. 2016

Southwestern coast of India



Calaxiopsis felix (Alcock & Anderson, 1899)

Alcock & Anderson 1899; Radhakrishnan et al. 2012; Samuel et al. 2016

Indian coast



Calocaris macandreae Bell, 1846

Alcock & Anderson 1894

Laccadive Sea, India



Eiconaxius andamanensis (Alcock, 1901)

Rao 2010; Radhakrishnan et al. 2012; Samuel et al. 2016

Andaman & Nicobar Islands


Eiconaxius kermadeci Bate, 1888

Alcock & Anderson 1894

Laccadive Sea, India


Eiconaxius laccadivensis Alcock & Anderson, 1894

Radhakrishnan et al. 2012; Samuel et al. 2016

Lakshadweep Islands, India




Gilvossius tyrrhenus (Petagna, 1792)

Patel & Mahyavanshi 1974

Okha Port, Gujarat



Paratrypaea bouvieri (Nobili, 1904)

Sakai 1999

Gulf of Mannar


Paratrypaea maldivensis (Borradaile, 1904)

Pearson 1905

Gulf of Mannar



Pugnatrypaea pugnatrix (de Man, 1905)

Sakai 2005

Tharangambadi, Tamil Nadu



Rayllianassa lignicola (Alcock & Anderson, 1899)

Alcock & Anderson 1899; Rao 2010; Radhakrishnan et al. 2012; Samuel et al. 2016

Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal




Callianidea typa H. Milne Edwards, 1837

Rao 2010

Andaman & Nicobar Islands




Callianopsis caecigena (Alcock & Anderson, 1894)

Alcock & Anderson 1894

Bay of Bengal, India




Audacallichirus audax (de Man, 1911)

Rao & Kartha 1966;  Sakai 1999, 2005; Dworschak 1992

Ratnagiri, Maharashtra; eastern coast of India; Kannur, Kerala



Balsscallichirus masoomi (Tirmizi, 1970)

Sakai 1999, 2005; Sankolli 1971

Bombay, Maharashtra; Ratnagiri, Maharashtra



Corallianassa coutierei (Nobili, 1904)

Present study

Goose reef, Gulf of Kachchh, Gujarat- India



Karumballichirus karumba (Poore & Griffin, 1979)

Sakai 1999, 2005

Chilka Lake, Odisha; Kayamkulam Lake, Kerala; Travancore, Tamil Nadu



Michaelcallianassa indica K. Sakai, 2002

Sakai 2005

Tharangambadi, Tamil Nadu



Neocallichirus jousseaumei (Nobili, 1904)

Beleem et al. 2019

Diu, India



For images - - click here





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