BIOTIC Species Information for Hippolyte spp.
Researched bySean Lindsley-Leake Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed
Scientific nameHippolyte spp. Common nameA Caridean shrimp
MCS CodeS1436 Recent Synonyms

PhylumCrustacea Subphylum
Superclass ClassEumalacostraca
SubclassEucarida OrderDecapoda
SuborderPleocyemata FamilyHippolytidae
GenusHippolyte Species

Additional Information
Taxonomy References
General Biology
Growth form Feeding method
Environmental position
Typical food types HabitFree living
Bioturbator FlexibilityLow (10-45 degrees)
FragilityFragile SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
Height Growth Rate
Adult dispersal potential DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional Information
Biology References Veillet et al., 1963, Reverberi, 1950, Cobos et al., 2005, Zupo & Buttino, 2001,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & Ireland
Global distribution
Biogeographic range Depth range
Distribution Additional Information

Substratum preferences Physiographic preferences
Biological zone Wave exposure
Tidal stream strength/Water flow Salinity
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeProtandrous hermaphrodite
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive SeasonApril to October Reproductive LocationAs adult
Reproductive frequencyAnnual episodic Regeneration potential No
Life spanInsufficient information Age at reproductive maturity<1 year
Generation time<1 year FecundityInsufficient information
Egg/propagule size0.4mm Fertilization typeInternal
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potentialInsufficient information Larval settlement periodTwo periods of recruitment
Duration of larval stage1-2 months   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationThe shrimp Hippolyte inermis Leach, 1815 lives in shallow waters of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Atlantic coast of Spain. It forms stable populations in seagrass meadows, mainly in Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa. Most individuals exhibit a green mimic colour. Investigations by Reverberi (1950) and Veillet et al. (1963) demonstrated individuals experiencing a male stage prior to switching to female i.e. protandric sex reversal. Juvenile diet shifts from zooplankton (larvae) to microalgae and microzoobenthos (settled postlarvae). Sex differentiation occurs at a size of 5-7 mm (Veillet et al. 1963); sex reversal was observed in individuals of 10-13 mm, corresponding to an age of 7-12 months. Not all individuals exhibit sex reversal. In fact, young females of 5-6 mm length are present in natural populations. They are smaller than any male and are produced by direct differentiation. Two main periods of recruitment, spring and fall, were detected in the life cycle of H. inermis. Individuals born in spring grow quickly and develop as either females or males, while individuals born in fall grow slowly and develop as males, changing sex in the next spring. The spring period of maximum abundance of the smaller females in natural populations corresponds to a massive epiphytic production in the leaf stratum of P. oceanica. The size range within Hippolyte is from 20mm to 42mm.
Reproduction References Veillet et al., 1963, Reverberi, 1950, Sheild, 1978, Zupo & Messina, 2007, Cobos et al., 2005, Zupo & Buttino, 2001,
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