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Beach hoppers

Ingrid Taylar
Beach hoppers

Talitridae is a family of amphipods. Terrestrial species are often referred to as landhoppers and beach dwellers are called sandhoppers, beach hoppers, or sand fleas. The name sand flea is misleading, though, because these talitrid amphipods are not siphonapterans (true fleas), do not bite people, and are not limited to sandy beaches.

Marine amphipods are often washed up in the strandline, but die rapidly on drying out. Talitrids differ in being able to survive for a long time out of water; some Southern Hemisphere species are entirely terrestrial.

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.