Rockpool prawn (Palaemon elegans)
|Researched by||Ken Neal||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
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 IrelandAll around the coasts of Britain and Ireland
Global distributionFrom south west Norway to south west Africa including the Baltic, Mediterranean, Black Sea, Caspian Sea and the Azores.
HabitatIntertidal on rocky shores in rock pools around mid-tide level but sometimes higher. Moves offshore in winter in northern latitudes.
- 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).
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.
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This review can be cited as:
Last Updated: 17/04/2008