Definition of beach flea in US English:

beach flea


  • A small crustacean of the seashore that typically lives among seaweed and leaps when disturbed.

    Orchestia and other genera, order Amphipoda

    Also called sand flea, sand hopper
    • ‘This neat game got us out exploring the island and looking for creatures: osprey, mink, beach fleas, and pill bugs.’
    • ‘Rockweed and associated periwinkles, barnacles and beach fleas have recolonized the upper estuary to the International Bridge at St. Stephen / Calais.’
    • ‘The few sand beaches in the park provide habitat for sand dollars, moon snails, clams and a variety of amphipods such as the beach flea.’
    • ‘The scud are closely related to beach fleas or beach hoppers, which live on just about all sandy ocean shores.’
    • ‘Commonly termed beach fleas, they are actually air-breathing marine crustaceans with modified gills and related to shrimps.’
    • ‘But look closely and you can find sand shrimp and beach fleas hopping through the debris.’
    • ‘Their primary food sources are beach fleas, lice, flies and ants.’
    • ‘They swarm in tide pools and crevices; beach fleas live higher on the shore.’
    • ‘Some bathers are unnecessarily apprehensive about being bitten by beach fleas, which feed only on organic debris.’
    • ‘Skeleton shrimps are a group of arthropods belonging to the Class Crustacea, which includes not only lobsters and crabs but also beach fleas, sea roaches, barnacles and isopods.’
    • ‘During the day, beach fleas hide in burrows or moist places among debris.’
    • ‘Only a couple of animals are resident on the beach itself, ghost crabs (Ocypode quadata; above) and beach fleas, and they both burrow into the sand to survive.’
    • ‘The hyperiids are little crustaceans which are again entirely planktonic but are related to beach fleas and those laterally compressed wriggly things you find under stones.’
    • ‘Most are marine (for example, beach fleas), although the common pill bug or sow bug is an isopod that lives on land, in moist soil litter under fallen logs and stones.’
    • ‘The initiation of reproduction in the beach flea, Orchestia gammarellus, is affected by temperature, but not by changes in photoperiod or salinity.’
    • ‘I've heard that some aquarium stores are starting to regularly offer live amphipods (also known as scuds, hoppers, or beach fleas) for sale; these are the main food I have using to fed my hatchling cuttlefish.’