This little crustacean, about ¼ inch long, is not suited to terrestrial life. Scud (a kind of amphipod, related to shrimp and crabs) live in freshwater ponds. The only time they are found out on dry ground is if their water has dried up, as with the temporary pools that form after rains, and they are forced to travel to find more. They have only a brief time in which to find suitable habitat as their gills will dry out without water. There are very similar creatures that are often found on the seashore, and are generally called beach fleas or beach hoppers. Their only method of locomotion on dry land is by jumping. In the water, they are able to swim quite well.
class: Crustacea / order: Amphipoda / family: Hyalellidae / genus: Hyalella / species: azteca
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