Rockpool shrimp - Palaemon elegans
Palaemon elegans sometimes known by the common name rockpool shrimp, is a species of shrimp of the family Palaemonidae. Gamberetto di porto Palaemon elegans Rockpool shrimp intotheblue.it
It is native to the eastern North Atlantic (including Macaronesia), the Baltic, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and introduced in the Caspian and Aral seas. It is similar to three other members of the genus Palaemon: Palaemon serratus, Palaemon longirostris and Palaemon adspersus, and has displaced or replaced populations of Palaemon adspersus in some locations. It is considered an invasive species in parts of the United States.
In the Mediterranean Sea it is easily confused with the Palaemon serratus. The difference is made by observing the rostrum: In Palaemon serratus the rostrum is longer, and the space between the first and second spine of the rostrum is longer than the space between the second and third spine. In Palaemon elegans, these two spaces are identical.
In the Mediterranean there are several species belonging to the genus Palaemon, all nicknamed reef shrimps. Although 87 Palaemon species have been reviewed to date, only a small part of them inhabit the Mediterranean
These species are found from the surface up to 40 m deep, on rocky, sandy-muddy bottoms or in seagrass meadows, in infralittoral and circalittoral areas and in estuarine beds.
With a size that varies depending on the species from 5 to 15cm, the shrimps of the genus Palaemon have transparent body and transverse bands and darker lines on the abdominal segments, longitudinal and oblique streaks on the carapace, reddish brown or yellow line but can also be transparent depending on the species. The rostrum is long and slightly curved upwards in its distal part, especially in larger individuals.
In the Mediterranean there are 2 the most frequent species.
- Palaemon elegans;
- Palaemon serrratus;
Palaemon elegans is the smallest species, common in coastal rock pits. It is actually the best known species as it is found in all rocky coastal areas. They are often found in children’s buckets during the summer or used as a bait for sea bass fishing by fishermen.