The Euphausiid crustaceans Synopsis covers 3 small orders: Euphausiids (16 species), Stomatopods (2 species) and Leptostracans (4 species).
These three orders of crustaceans belong to the subclass Malacostraca. In fact this subclass contains almost three quarters of species of crustaceans. They are predominantly offshore or oceanic animals. Among the best known worldwide is the krill, which lives in vast numbers around the Antarctic.
Within Britain and Ireland, the euphasiids live some distance from the shore. However they sometimes occur in the deep sea lochs of western Scotland. Overall these crustaceans make up part of the diet of many commerically important sea fish, particularly herring. Occasionally they produce a remarkable display of bioluminescence on the sea surface at night. The stomatopods (mantis shrimps) are primarily animals of the tropics and subtropics. The few caught in British waters are the most northerly records of these animals. Finally there are four species of leptostracans, mostly found at depth.
Synopses of the British Fauna is a series of identification guides. Each volume in the series provides a detailed account of a group of animals. They bridge the gap between standard field guides and the more specialised monograph or treatise. Since 1993 the the Field Studies Council has published these guides on behalf of the Linnean Society.
These volumes are suitable for the lab or field. The editors aim to keep them as user friendly as possible. Technical terminology is kept to a minimum and a glossary of terms provided. However the complexity of the subject matter makes the books more suitable for the more experienced practitioner.