Rostrum unarmed, half length of eye or slightly more, triangular with rounded apex. Median line of carapace with anteriorly directed spine in anterior quarter; antennal, pterygostomian and hepatic spines present.
Stylocerite acutely pointed, about half length of antennular peduncle. Apical spine of scaphocerite exceeding lamellar portion. Third maxilliped equal in length to scaphocerite; exopod and arthrobranch present.
Mandible with molar process only, teeth sharply pointed.
Pereiopod 1 sub-chelate, stout.
Pereiopod 2 extends to 0.75 x length of propus of pereiopod 1; dactyl of pereiopod 2 about 0.25 x length of propus. Pleonite 6 smooth dorsally, without groove(s) or carina(e). Endopods of pleopods 2-5 two-segmented, without appendix interna.
Telson with two pairs of small lateral spines.
This is the common shrimp of sandy bays and beaches. Most authors note C. crangon to be a dioecious species, although some evidence suggests that it is a protandrous hermaphrodite. This is still a matter of conjecture (see Tiews, 1970). Important commercial fisheries for this species exist off the coasts of Germany, Holland, Belgium and France. It is also fished on a smaller scale from the east and west coasts of Britain.
Length up to 90 mm, usually less.
A mottled grey or brown.
Mid-shore-down to 150 metres. Found on sandy and muddy grounds. Penetrates the lower reaches of estuaries and is common in sandy bays. Hyperbenthic species, may swim up at night, mostly confined to the nepheloid layer. Ovigerous females occur at different times in different localities. There are often two or more spawning periods, and in some localities (e.g. Plymouth in S England), a few ovigerous females occur throughout the year. Elsewhere, breeding periods are restricted (e.g. February to June in the Bristol Channel).
Distribution in the North Sea:
All North Sea.
Ranges from the White Sea southwards into the Baltic and down to the Mediterranean.