BIOTIC Species Information for Crangon crangon
Researched byKen Neal Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
General Biology
Growth formArticulate
Feeding methodOmnivore
Environmental positionEpibenthic
Typical food typesA wide variety of animal and plant material. HabitFree living
Bioturbator FlexibilityHigh (>45 degrees)
FragilityIntermediate SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
HeightInsufficient information Growth Rate14 mm/month
Adult dispersal potential100-1000m DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional Information

Crangon crangon is the most commonly encountered shrimp of sandy bays and estuaries, reaching densities of 60 per m² during summer peaks (Beukema, 1992). Crangon crangon buries itself in sand to avoid predators and to ambush prey. It prefers sediment of 125-710 µm grain size (Pinn & Ansell, 1993). Burial takes 9-10 seconds and is achieved by rapid beating of the abdominal limbs (pleopods) followed by violent shuffling and completed by the antennae sweeping sand over the back to leave only the eyes and antennae above the sediment surface (Pinn & Ansell, 1993). Onset of foraging activity of Crangon crangon is light controlled, and occurs at night (Addison et al., 2003) except in very turbid areas such as the Bristol Channel (Lloyd & Yonge, 1947).

Population dynamics
The maximum age of Crangon crangon was reported as 3.3 years with the large majority (70-90%) of the population in the 1st year class, 10-20% in the 2nd year class and the rest in their 3rd year (Oh et al., 1999). Relative abundance of males changes with season and can vary between 6-82% in the Solway Firth (Abbott & Perkins, 1977). Juvenile Crangon crangon recruit to the benthos in May -July to exploit the annual calanoid copepod bloom that is the main food of the early benthic stages (Boddeke et al., 1986). Small post-settlement Crangon crangon migrate to inshore nursery areas for better foraging and predation protection, remaining in these areas for 2-3 weeks before heading back offshore (Cattrijsse et al., 1997). Adults migrate offshore November to March to avoid low salinity water (Boddeke, 1989; Henderson & Holmes, 1987).

Crangon crangon moults frequently: every 13-30 days at 12°C (Lloyd & Yonge, 1947), every 8-9 days at 16-18°C (Price & Uglow, 1979), and increases in size by 1-3 mm with each moult (Lloyd & Yonge, 1947). Various authors have reported growth rates. For example, Boddeke et al. (1986) reported growth from a ripe egg to 54 mm adult length in 4 months but then growth slows, possibly due to the onset of maturity and the diversion of energy to gamete production, and growth from 54-68 mm takes a further 2 months. Juvenile Crangon crangon using tidal flats in the Wadden Sea as a nursery area have very rapid growth, reaching 25 mm in their first month (Beukema, 1992).

Crangon crangon will consume just about any animal material including polychaetes, fish, molluscs and small arthropods (Dolmer et al., 2001; Henderson & Holmes, 1987; Kamermans & Huitema, 1994; Oh et al., 1999) but will also consume algae especially Ulva lactuca and Ulva intestinalis (Oh et al., 2001). In the Irish Sea, the mysid shrimp Schistomysis spiritus and amphipods (Gammarus sp.) made up 26-63% and 11-42% of gut contents respectively (Oh et al., 2001).

Crangon crangon is consumed by seabirds especially gulls (Larus sp.), terns (Sterna sp.) (Walter & Becker, 1997), and redshank Tringa tortanus (Holthuijzen, 1979) and Tringa erythropus (Goss-Custard et al., 1977). Crangon crangon is an important food source for gadoids and pleuronectids, pogge Agonus cataphractus, gurnards, sea snails Liparis liparis (ICES, 1996), gobies Pomatoschistus microps and juvenile bass Dicentrarchus labrax (Cattrijsse et al., 1997).

Biology References Oh et al., 1999, Beukema, 1992, Pinn & Ansell, 1993, Addison et al., 2003, Lloyd & Yonge, 1947, Perkins & Abbott, 1977, Boddeke et al., 1986, Cattrijsse et al., 1997, Boddeke, 1989, Hnederson & Holmes, 1987, Price & Uglow, 1979, Dolmer et al., 2001, Abbott & Perkins, 1977, Kamermans & Huitema, 1994, Oh et al., 2001, ICES, 1996, Walter & Becker, 1997, Goss-Custard et al., 1977, Holthuijzen, 1979, Al-Adhub & Naylor, 1975, Boddeke, 1975,
About MarLIN | Contact, Enquiries & Feedback | Terms & Conditions | Funding | Glossary | Accessibility | Privacy | Sponsorship

Creative Commons License BIOTIC (Biological Traits Information Catalogue) by MarLIN (Marine Life Information Network) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available at Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own terms and conditions and they may or may not be available for reuse. Based on a work at