Gentalis's picture

Could be a shrimp

Observed: 23rd February 2013 By: GentalisGentalis’s reputation in InvertebratesGentalis’s reputation in InvertebratesGentalis’s reputation in Invertebrates

found in a rock pool next to the shore. Grandaughter's photo on her phone.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


D.M.H.'s picture


One of three species in this genus.

All given ID's are subject to error/ommissions. Please seek independent verification before acting on ANY advice given. BE SAFE =)

nightfly's picture

Possibly Palaemon serratus

Possibly Palaemon serratus owing to the upward curving rostrum (spike at the front)and it looks like double pointed at the tip of the rostrum also. Belongs in invertebrates.

Someone else may be more confident about the exact species.


Gentalis's picture

Thank you.

Thank you for your help. i have changed it to invertebrates.

ChrisMcA's picture

Yes indeed, prawns don't like

Yes indeed, prawns don't like to be called shrimps

nightfly's picture

Indeed Chris, looks like too

Indeed Chris, looks like too many rostrum teeth for serratus. It seems it takes a photo of especially high quality and sharp focus for IDing these to species- the IDing features are difficult to appreciate in the various pics offered under each species in MarLIN.

It'd be nice to see a chart of Palaemon species rostrums to see the exact dorsal and ventral tooth numbers. It'd make a very interesting and useful photo if some of us could snap the various rostrums together in one pic!


nightfly's picture

Chris, You could save me


You could save me quite a bit of googling etc if I could just ask something as you have looked closely at palaemon.

Are elegans and serratus the most frequently encountered uk prawns? The other couple of species that are mentioned in MarLIN in the text below serratus where it says it can be confused with elegans and longirostris and adspersus- are these common in the UK?

Just wondering how many species I might be facing locally?

Cheers Chris,


ChrisMcA's picture gives uk's palaemonidae, & clicking on members of.. gives the species, of which there are 9, but small Typton spongicola has much bigger claws & is assoc'd with sponges & SW Brit very rare. Then2 exotic species, the very colourful anemone shrimp Periclimenes sagittifer,Channel Isl's + Swanage in Dorset; & distinctive Leander tenuicornis =brown shrimp/Sargasso shrimp, common in tropics & subtropics so (I guess) occasnl flotsam.
that leaves 5 sp's like the common prawn p.serratus. I've only ID'd that & P.elegans. P.adspersus (shallow sublittoral, estuarine & marine) P.longirostris (estuaries & brackish water. Palaemonetes varians brackish, salt marshes,lagoons or isolated pools & ditches.
Sadly nhm's biodiversity doesnt includes infraorders so they're lumped in with the other 54 families of the order decapods (ie incl'g lobsters & crabs etc); But Collins' Seashore of Britain & Europe covers all infraorder Caridea in 6 pages, with 9 humpback prawns in Hippolytidae (largest 4.8cm), eg ,+ you may not know Pandalus montagui, the pink shrimp "this large prawn may reach 16cm" (ie larger than any other uk prawn),see (actually sev'l v. similar sp's), + alpheidae (big claws), processidae.
But I recommend the said Collins isbn 0002199556 as comprehensive but compact seashore ID guide,though it's out of print (& though some illustrns, like the shells are so surreal they're unrecognisable). It's in wales' libraries so maybe NI also.
So short answer is the 5 above + pink shrimp

nightfly's picture

Thanks very much for this

Thanks very much for this breakdown Chris. I had a notion you'd be the person to ask, I think I was right. My original line of thought was based on the hope that in rockpools I would generally only have to determine if the prawns were serratus or elegans. That may be the case, most of the time?

Would like to see a fully grown pink shrimp, sounds impressive. Cheers for all the links and for taking the time, gonna have a look now.


ChrisMcA's picture

yes 2,(& maybe sulittoral

yes 2,(& maybe sublittoral P.adspersus) + the tiny 3cm hunchback prawn known as chameleon prawn, Hippolyte varians, usu. 1 color, green/yellow/red/brown, but "often flecked reddish-brown".
I agree w. your reservns about eualus.