PORT PHILLIP BAY


Social Snapping Shrimp 

Alpheus parasocialis Banner & Banner, 1982

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Rostrum well developed and continued posteriorly as carina. Rostrum acute, 3 times as long as broad at base, separated from orbital hoods by deep short grooves overhung by base of rostrum; orbital hoods with converging acute teeth, reaching half length of rostrum; rostrum-hood margins short and convex. Pterygostomial angle not produced. Chelipeds markedly asymmetrical, larger one swollen, carried extended, dactylus with plunger fitting into socket at base of fixed finger. Large chela laterally compressed; lower margin slightly concave, irregular proximally; upper margin with longitudinal groove; without lateral and medial teeth near dactylar articulation; with only few scattered setae. Smaller cheliped with fingers simple, not of balaeniceps form. Pereopods 1-4 with epipods. Maxilliped 3 with penultimate article not lobed on the lower margin. Pleuron of abdominal somite 6 without an articulating posterior triangular plate.

Source: Poore, G.C.B. (2004) Marine decapod Crustacea of southern Australia. A guide to identification (with chapter on Stomatopoda by Shane Ahyong). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 574 pp.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Eucarida
Order:
Decapoda
Suborder:
Pleocyemata
Infraorder:
Caridea
Family:
Alpheidae
Genus:
Alpheus
Species:
parasocialis

General Description

Rostrum acute, 3 times as long as broad at base, separated from orbital hoods by deep short grooves overhung by base of rostrum; orbital hoods with converging acute teeth, reaching half length of rostrum; rostrum-hood margins short and convex. Large claw (chela) laterally compressed; lower margin slightly concave, irregular proximally; upper margin with longitudinal groove; without lateral and medial teeth near dactylar articulation; with only few scattered setae. Small claw (chela) not of balaeniceps form. Maxilliped 3 with penultimate article not lobed on the lower margin. Dull orange and with orange-red chelipeds. Up to 3.5 cm long.

Biology

Snapping shrimps or pistol shrimps are immediately distinguished from other families by having one claw much larger than the other, the larger claw cylindrical and with a parrot-beak-like finger. The snapping apparatus on the claw involves a piston at the base of the moveable finger that fits into a cavity of the fixed finger. When clicked closed by the strong muscles in the palm, a sudden jet of water is expelled to stun its prey, such as crabs and fishes. A sharp click is heard at the same time and may even be audible to us when walking over mudflats where the shrimps can be common.

Habitat

Intertidal to 29 m depth.

Soft substrates

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

Southern temperate oceans, including southern Australia.

Species Group

Prawns, shrimps, lobsters Shrimps

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

3.5 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

MoV 722

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Taylor, J.

Dr. Jo Taylor is the Sciences Collections Online Coordinator at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Poore, G.C.B.

Dr. Gary Poore is Principal Curator Emeritus at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Taylor, J. & Poore, G.C.B., 2011, Social Snapping Shrimp, Alpheus parasocialis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5506

Text: creative commons cc by licence