Taxonomy of Shellfish (1+2)
H.N. Anjaneyappa and P.Jawahar
Shellfish systematics is the most unique one in Fisheries Science in view of its importance and implications in diversity. This course deals with the classification and identification of commercially important crustaceans and molluscs occurring in Indian waters. The systematic zoology is the science that discovers names, determines relationships, classifies and studies the evolution of living organisms. It is an important branch in biology and is considered to be one of the major subdivisions of biology having a broader base than genetics, biochemistry and physiology.
The shellfish includes two highly diversified phyla i.e. phylum Arthropoda and phylum Mollusca. These two groups are named as shellfishes because of the presence of exoskeleton made of chitin in arthropods and shells made of calcium in molluscs. These two major phyla are invertebrates. They show enormous diversity in their morphology, in the habitats they occupy and in their biology. This course deals with systemic identification of commercially important shellfish species highlighting the important taxanomical characteristics.
These two phyla include economically important groups such as lobsters, shrimps, crabs, oysters, chanks, squids and cuttlefishes . For conservation and management of fishery resources, the identification of shellfishes is vital. Taxonomical study reveals numerous interesting phenomena in shellfish phylogeny and the study is most indispensable for culturing shellfish. The correct identification of candidate species of shellfish is very important for successful aquaculture practices.