Description: Members of Family Hippolytidae have no exopodites on pereopods 1-5, pereopod 1 is chelate, the carpus of pereopod 2 is divided into (3 or) 7 articles, the eyes are not covered by the carapace, the rostrum is present but does not have movable dorsal spines, and the abdomen turns downward at segment 3, forming a 'hump'. Heptacarpus has the carpus of pereopod 2 divided into 7 articles. It has no supraorbital spines, and no exopodite on maxilliped 3. H. pugettensis has no epipodite on pereopod 3 (although it does have an epipodite on pereopods 1 and 2). Dactyls of legs 3-5 have bifid tips. The rostrum is short, reaching to the eye but not reaching past the end of the first article of antenna 1 (photo) and usually having a ventral tooth near the tip. The first article of antenna 1 has a single dorsal spine near the end (photo). Has transverse, thin red and yellow-colored stripes on the dorsal abdomen and wider transverse greenish-yellow colored bars on the ventral surfaces of the abdomen. The greenish-yellow ventral bars on the abdomen can sometimes be seen from above, making the shrimp look striped like a small bee. Other times the bars are obscured by the dorsal stripes. The tail fan and last 2 segments of the abdomen are transparent (photo). Length to 2 cm.
How to Distinguish from Similar Species:H. brevirostris has an epopodite on leg 3 and 3-5 small dorsal spines but no ventral spines on the distal part of the first article of antenna 1. It also gets much larger and is colored very differently. H. palpator has transverse colored stripes but its rostrum reaches past the eye.
Geographical RangeSitka, Alaska Columbia to Morro Bay, California
Depth Range: Middle intertidal to 51 m
Habitat: Under boulders in the rocky intertidal. Also found on floating docks.
History: Near low
tide, these may aggregate near the position on boulders where the water
touches the boulder, or cling to the underside of the rock.
Carlton, 2007 (but its description of the rostrum length seems too long)
Kozloff, 1987, 1996
General Notes and
Observations: Locations, abundances,
Authors and Editors
Salish Sea Invertebrates web site provided courtesy of Walla