The scuds are probably the best known and the most common crustaceans from the seashore. If rocks or pebbles are overturned, beach fleas (Gammarus spp.) can been seen wriggling around.

Many species of scuds are known from all depths in Icelandic waters, but they are difficult to identify to species. Some are free living while others bury themselves into the sediment.  

There is also a group of planktonic scuds. They are usually dark in colour, with very large eyes. They can be prominent in plankton samples as they can be relatively large compared to other plankton. Some of them seem to live as parasites on jellyfish.

The most peculiar type of scud is probably the skeleton shrimp, with its own page.

Previously, it was believed that scuds had healing power if eaten, by either boiling them in milk or eating them alive.


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