MarLIN

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

A prawn (Palaemon elegans)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Palaemon elegans is a typical prawn with a cylindrical body composed of a carapace at the front and six abdominal segments. It has a short straight rostrum in front of the eyes with distinctive dorsal and ventral teeth. Palaemon elegans is translucent with red/brown lines on the carapace and abdomen. Just below the large compound eye on each side is the antennule, which is divided into to three parts. Below the antennule is the antenna, which is divided into two parts; the short flat segment (the scaphocerite) and the long whip-like flagellum. The first two pairs of walking legs bear claws (chela) and have yellow and red banding.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

All around the coasts of Britain and Ireland

Global distribution

From south west Norway to south west Africa including the Baltic, Mediterranean, Black Sea, Caspian Sea and the Azores.

Habitat

Intertidal on rocky shores in rock pools around mid-tide level but sometimes higher. Moves offshore in winter in northern latitudes.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Large round-bodied prawn up to 6.3 cm in length.
  • Translucent with variable markings but generally red/brown horizontal or oblique lines on the carapace and vertical on the abdomen.
  • First two walking legs (pereiopods) chelate with yellow and brown banding.
  • Head region covered by a carapace with a short straight rostrum.
  • Rostrum with 7-9 dorsal teeth, 3 of which are behind the eye socket, and 3 ventral teeth.
  • Mandible with palp of 2 segments (requires microscopic examination).

Additional information

Palaemon elegans is very similar to Palaemon serratus, Palaemon longirostris and Palaemon adspersus but can be separated from these species by the number of rostral teeth and the mandibular palp, which is composed of two segments.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Bruce, J.R., Colman, J.S. & Jones, N.S., 1963. Marine fauna of the Isle of Man. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

  2. Crothers, J.H. (ed.), 1966. Dale Fort Marine Fauna. London: Field Studies Council.

  3. Foster-Smith, J. (ed.), 2000. The marine fauna and flora of the Cullercoats District. Marine species records for the North East Coast of England. Sunderland: Penshaw Press, for the Dove Marine Laboratory, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

  4. Gibson, R., Hextall, B. & Rogers, A., 2001. Photographic guide to the sea and seashore life of Britain and north-west Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  5. 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.]

  6. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

  7. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin.

  8. Smaldon, G., Holthuis, L.B. & Fransen, C.H.J.M., 1993. Coastal Shrimps and Prawns (Revised edn). Shrewsbury: Field Studies Council.

Datasets

  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Environmental Records Information Centre North East, 2018. ERIC NE Combined dataset to 2017. Occurrence dataset: http://www.ericnortheast.org.uk/home.html accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-38

  3. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  4. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2014. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/erweal accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  5. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2015. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/xtrbvy accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  6. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2016. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/146yiz accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  7. Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, 2017. IOW Natural History & Archaeological Society Marine Invertebrate Records 1853- 2011. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/d9amhg accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  8. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Biological survey of the intertidal chalk reefs between Folkestone Warren and Kingsdown, Kent 2009-2011. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  9. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  10. Lancashire Environment Record Network, 2018. LERN Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/esxc9a accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  11. Merseyside BioBank., 2018. Merseyside BioBank (unverified). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/iou2ld accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  12. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  13. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/opc6g1 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  14. OBIS,  2018. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2018-11-13

  15. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Myriapods, Isopods, and allied species (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/rvxsqs accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  16. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, 2018. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Shoresearch. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/1nw3ch accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Neal, K.J. 2008. Palaemon elegans A prawn. 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 13-11-2018]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2035

Last Updated: 17/04/2008