information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

A sand shrimp (Gammarus chevreuxi)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.
Only coastal and marine records shown



A small shrimp-like species that grows up to about 13 mm in length. The head has lateral lobes that which are broadly truncated and the eyes are moderately large and kidney shaped. Antenna 1 has few hairs but antenna 2 in the male has many hairs, some long and curled. Male sub-claws (1st and 2nd appendages) and tail appendages also bear long curled hairs.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Gammarus chevreuxi is may be locally abundant and has been recorded off Anglesey, North Wales, the River Taw estuary in north Devon, the estuaries of Falmouth, Fowey, and Plymouth, and at Teignmouth on the south coast.

Global distribution

Atlantic coast of Europe and north Africa


Gammarus chevreuxi can be found in brackish waters, especially coastal marshes, saline lagoons and drainage ditches. It is often found on mud, sand and stones within estuaries.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Laterally compressed smooth body up to about 13 mm long.
  • Head with lateral lobes broadly truncated.
  • Moderately large and kidney shaped eyes.
  • In the male, antenna 2 has many setae some long and curled.
  • Male sub claws (gnathopods 1 and 2), pereopod 3 and uropod 3 also have long fine curled setae.
  • Curled setae absent in females.

Additional information

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Further information sources

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  1. Dorey, A.E., Little, C. & Barnes, R.S.K., 1973. An ecological study of the Swanpool, Falmouth. II. Hydrography and its relation to animal distributions. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 1, 153-176.

  2. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  3. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. 1994. The marine fauna of the British Isles and north-west Europe. Volume 1. Introduction and Protozoans to Arthropods. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  4. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  5. Lincoln, R.J., 1979. British Marine Amphipoda: Gammaridea. London: British Museum (Natural History).

  6. MBA (Marine Biological Association), 1957. Plymouth Marine Fauna. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

  7. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from:  Accessed 01 April 2017


This review can be cited as:

Neish, A.H. 2003. Gammarus chevreuxi A sand shrimp. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 21-08-2018]. Available from:

Last Updated: 28/05/2003