These crustaceans resemble shrimp and are variously called scuds, beach-fleas, or sand-fleas. Their body is elongate and laterally compressed. The thoracic segments are large and dominate the body; seven of these segments have leglike appendages. The abdominal segments are small and compressed. This group contains marine species, such as the sand-flea or beach-flea, Orchestia agilis, and a sea scud, Gammarus annulatus. The freshwater forms include Dikerogammarus spp. and Hyalella spp.

Talitroides sylvaticus Mature individuals are about 8 mm long. Body color ranges from greenish brown, dark brown, to blackish brown, but it often turns pale red to coppery when dead (and it is dead specimens that are most often encountered). Populations of these small amphipods live in damp and shaded locations, and when disturbed they jump like fleas or springtails. Excess moisture may stimulate them to move to dry locations, which includes sidewalks, patios, and sometimes indoors (ground-level rooms). This species occurs in Hawaii, coastal California, and frequently in states along the Gulf coast.

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