Parapasiphae sulcatifrons Smith, 1884

Common name(s): Grooveback shrimp

Phylum Arthropoda
 Subphylum Crustacea
  Class Malacostraca
   Subclass Eumalacostraca
    Superorder Eucarida
     Order Decapoda
      [Informal Group Natantia]
      Suborder Pleocyemata
       Infraorder Caridea
        Family Pasiphaeidae
Parapasiphae sulcatifrons from off Point Conception, CA
(Photo by: Dave Cowles, Sept 1995)
Description:  Pasiphaeids are true shrimp which have enlarged first and second pereopods, which are chelate (photo).  Genus Parapasiphaea is not as extremely laterally compressed as is genus Pasiphaea, plus it has a true rostrum (photo).

How to Distinguish from Similar Species:  The two pairs of enlarged, chelatepereopods (photo) distinguish this species from shrimp in other families.  The other local Pasiphaeids, such as Pasiphaea pacifica, are strongly laterally compressed and may be partly transparent.  Members of genus Pasiphaea also do not have a true rostrum--instead, a median spine from the dorsal carapace projects up just behind the front of the carapace, looking somewhat like a rostrum.  A related species also found bathypelagically in our region, Parapasiphae cristata, differs because P. sulcatifrons has no teeth at the base of the rostrum (photo) and the fingers of the second chelae are shorter than the palm, while Parapasiphae cristata has two teeth at the base of the rostrum and the fingers of the second chelae are longer than the palm.

Geographical Range:  British Columbia to Baja California, Indo-Pacific, Atlantic, off eastern Australia

Depth Range:  Deep mesopelagic

Habitat:  Midwater

Biology/Natural History:  Some notes on the biology of Parapasiphae species, and a key to the different species can be found in Wasmer, 1967, 2005

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Dichotomous Keys:
  Kozloff 1987, 1996
  Wicksten, 2009

General References:
  Butler, 1980

Scientific Articles:
Chace, F.A., Jr., 1940.  Plankton of the Bermuda Oceanographic expeditions.  IX: The bathypelagic caridean Crustacea.  Zoologica 25: 117-209

Hendrickx, Michel E. and Flor Delia Estrada Navarette, 1996.  Los Camarones Pelagicos (Crustacea: Dendrobranchiata y Caridea) del Pacifico Mexicano.  Comision Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad.  ISBN 968-29-8882-9

Wasmer, Robert A., 1967.  Bathypelagic shrimps (Penaeidea and Caridea) from the eastern North Pacific.  Master's thesis, Walla Walla College, College Place, WA.  86 pp.

Wasmer, Robert A., 2005.  A remarkable new species of the pelagic shrimp genus Parapasiphae Smith, 1884 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Pasiphaeidae) with double eyes.  Proceedings of the Royal Society of Washington 118:1 165-175

Web sites:

General Notes and Observations:  Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:

This view is of a preserved specimen captured between 700-750 m depth in San Clemente Basin, CA in July 1984. Note the large, chelate first and second pereopods.

This closeup of the chelate first (left) and second (right) pereopods shows that though they are both chelate, the chelae are very different from one another.
Photo from the preserved specimen above.

This species has a short but well-developed rostrum but no prominent lateral spine close to the anterior end of the carapace.
Photo of preserved specimen

Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2006):  Created original page