How to Distinguish from Similar Species: This is the only crangonid with a long spiny rostrum and only 4 pairs of walking legs. In the same trawls that we catch this species in we also catch the Hippolytid shrimp Lebbeus groenlandicus, which is also reddish marked and spiny and looks superficially similar. However, L. groenlandicus' reddish markings are in distinct, uneven transverse bands on the abdomen, and it does not as readily assume the cataleptic posture seen in the photo above.
Geographical Range: Port Etches, Alaska to La Jolla, CA
Depth Range: 7-201 m
Habitat: Lives among hydroids, bryozoans, and worm tubes on mixed composition bottoms.
Biology/Natural History: Unlike most crangonids, this species does not bury in the sediment. Feeds on smaller crustaceans and worms that are ambushed and swallowed whole. The slender third pereopods are held just above the bottom and function as antennas to detect prey, which are seized and attacked with the subchelate first pereopods. Prey items include gammarid amphipods, shrimp, and polychaetes. Small prey are consumed whole. Large prey are first repeatedly speared with the sharp spine on the first pereiopod, then eaten headfirst. In development, Paracrangon has fewer zoeal stages (only 2 brief, nonfeeding instars) than do many other decapods.
Many members of family Crangonidae burrow into the sand but this species does not. All members of genus Paracrangon lack the second pereiopods (walking legs). Since the second pereiopod is often used for grooming, it is not surprising to find parts of this species fouled with hydroids, diatoms, etc. This may help camouflage them.
Kozloff 1987, 1996
General Notes and Observations: Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:
We frequently catch this species at 100 m by otter trawl in the San Juan Channel, on a sandy bottom covered with shell hash.
Beware of putting this species into a tank with
at night it will attack other species such as shrimp as large as itself
and chop them into pieces.
Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2005): Created original page