The Falkland Islands and South Atlantic


  • crab2-rob
Paired jointed limbs, and the body encased in a thick protective shell which has to be moulted as the animal grows.This class includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps, barnacles, fishlice and woodlice.

  • sea-lice

Marine Isopods

Locally called 'sea-lice'. These are like large woodlice, the body is flattened and made up of plates or segments with large outer antennae and eyes set close to the head. Lift a stone near and in the sea on any rocky shore and they will be there, hiding under stones and in the kelp. They quickly curl up or move when they are disturbed. They are an important food for Crested Ducks, Logger (Flightless-steamer) ducks which dabble for them at low tide.

  • Amphipoda sandhoppers-jumping-jacks

Amphipoda- sandhoppers Falklands 'Jumping Jacks'

Most beaches have Jumping Jacks. They are appear flattened from side to side and look like tiny shrimps. There are two types, the Gammaridae, typically compressed curved, which lie wriggling on their sides; as well as on beaches they can be found above sea level on cliff tops but always in reach of sea spray. Talitridae are real Jumping Jacks, standing upright, walking and springing about when their cover is removed. They are found in any pile of rotten kelp in rocks and shinge, typically in zones above and below high tide levels. They are an important food source for Falkland Thrush, Cobbs Wren and Snipe.

  • krill-whalefood

Euphausia sp. Krill or 'Whalefood'

'Krill' the main food of baleen whales, a pelagic crustacean, differing from true shrimps as the first three pairs of thoracic links are not modified into mouth parts. Mostly pinkish red. They congregate in large, dense swarms making the sea appear reddish. They are very important in the feeding ecology of many pelagic birds.

  • lobster-krill

Decapods- Lobster Krill Munida gregaria

This is a free swimming decapod, and like all forms of decapods has ten thoracic legs with two being pincer tipped making it like a little lobster. It can grow to 6 cm and is typically red. Lobster Krill is a very important food source for many seabirds and probably the main prey species of the Falklands fur seal. Red staining at Gentoo penguin rookeries shows evidence of their taking this krill. It moves in great swarms and can give the sea a reddish cast. In late March/April it often strands on beaches turning them red.


Photographic credits: Robert Maddocks, Biffo Tuson, Dmtro Pylypenko/
Sources include: Falkland Islands State of the Environment Report 2008 Otley H, Munro G, Clausen A, Ingham B. A Field Guide to the Wildlife of The Falkland Islands and South Georgia - Ian J Strange
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