Pistol shrimp (Alpheus glaber)
|Researched by||Sonia Rowley||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandOccurs off the SW and W coasts of England, and off the east, south and west coasts of Ireland. Also recorded off the west coast of the Isle of Man, with numerous records in the Celtic Sea, and a recent record (05/04) off Sellafield in the east Irish Sea.
HabitatFound at a depth range of 30-100 m, and are either partly or completely buried in sand, silt or mud.
- Max length 65 mm; usually 43 mm.
- Dorsally red in colour.
- White lateral borders of carapace and appendages.
- Narrow rostrum, short and pointed at top.
- Dissimialer size and shape of chelae.
Additional informationThe shrimp produces the snapping sound by an extremely rapid closure of its large snapper claw. The loud snap has been attributed to the mechanical contact made when the dactyl and the probus edges hit each other as the claw closes. The snapping plays an important role in intraspecific communication. In addition, it is used to defend a shelter or territory and to stun and even kill prey (for example see Versluis et al., 2000).
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Bruce, J.R., Colman, J.S. & Jones, N.S., 1963. Marine fauna of the Isle of Man. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.
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.]
Smaldon, G., Holthuis, L.B. & Fransen, C.H.J.M., 1993. Coastal Shrimps and Prawns (Revised edn). Shrewsbury: Field Studies Council.
Versluis, M., Schmitz, B., von der Heydt, A. & Lohse, D., 2000. How snapping shrimp snap: through cavitating bubbles. Science, 289, 2114-2117.
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Last Updated: 17/04/2008