Happy Fun Science Friday – First Venomous Crustacean

Happy Fun Science Friday everyone! After a busy semester I hope to get into the regular groove of Fun Science Friday posts.

This week I bring you the first and only known venomous crustacean, the remipede Speleonectes tulumensis.


A remipede (Speleonectes tanumekes). Credit: Joris van der Ham

These crustaceans were first discovered in the 1980s and suspected to be venomous after documentation that behind their jaws, they had a pair of sharp, hollow-tipped fangs that were connected to glands.  This was a strong indication that the fangs were being used to inject a chemical into prey, though it was never proven…. Until now!  Step forward Bjorn von Reumont, from the Natural History Museum in London, whose team  thoroughly described the fangs and characterized the cocktail of toxins in the venom of S. tulumensis.

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