The Common Prawn (Palaemon serratus) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean in the Palaemonidae family of invertebrate ten-footed shrimp (decapod). It is related to the crab and the lobster.
The Common Prawn is transparent (see-through) to pinkish-brown with reddish striped-liked markings and patterns. It has an exo-skeleton (outside skeleton) called a carapace or shell. Its forward extension of the carapace in front of its eyes, called the rostrum, curves upwards. The rostrum is also bifurcated at the tip, which means that it is split into two parts. It has long, white antennae. It has bulging eyes. It has ten legs.
It measures about 10 centimetres (4 inches) long. It is the largest native shrimp and prawn in the oceans around the British Isles.
It is found in the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea. It prefers rocky habitats with nooks and crevices.
It is diurnal, active during the day. It is omnivorous, eating algae, plant leaves, and biofilm. It uses its feather-like claspers to filter food particles from the water.
The female carries 20-30 eggs under her belly and tail on her swimmerettes. The eggs hatch after 14-21 days. The young are called shrimplets.
Its lifespan is 3-5 years.
Photographed in the Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua, France, April 2022.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM