142/150: A small creature with a long history

Animalia: Arthropoda: Ostracoda: Podocopida: Cyprididae: Cypridopsinae: Cypridopsis vidua (O. F. Müller, 1776)

The Ostracods are an ancient crustacean that has been around for over 50 million years! Of the nearly 70,000 species described, only 13,000 are alive today, all others being discovered as fossils. Many ostracods have found use in the field of biostratigraphy – a technique used to estimate the relative age of rock based on the type of fossils it contains.

Ostracods vary in size from 0.2 mm – 30 mm and are protected by a chitinous shell that resembles that of a mussel. While mostly found in marine water, more and more are being discovered in fresh water environments – around 2000 species in 2008 alone. The largest family of non-marine ostracods is the Cyprididae. Members of this family, such as Cypridopsis vidua have drought resistant eggs, as well as the ability to reproduce both sexually and asexually.

Some ostracods are bioluminescent. This property was useful to the Japanese army during World War II as they could be collected in jars and used as lights. The light produced was bright enough that they could to do things such as read maps while still being dark enough that their position would remain uncompromised. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen 11AlgonqNJ0059 – Coon Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada – 26-Jun-2011 Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Scanning electron image of Cypridopsis vidua. Photo Credit: Paulo Corgosinho goo.gl/UaC8LN
Dorsal view of Cypridopsis vidua. Photo Credit: Markus Lindholm, Anders Hobæk/Norsk institutt for vassforsking goo.gl/iUCNP8
Fossil of a large ostracod from the Silurian Soeginina Beds of Saaremaa Island, Estonia. Photo Credit: Mark A. Wilson goo.gl/1VCJnA

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: COAPP059-12

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Ostracod

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAH0892