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Leach, 1814

Description:
Rostrum straight or slightly upturned at apex; almost as long as carapace and about 1.5 x length of antennular peduncle, slightly less in males; single dorsal tooth at base.
Carapace with one supra-orbital spine, and antennal and hepatic spines. Tufts of setae occasionally present on dorsal carapace and pleonites.
Stylocerite acutely pointed, little over half the length of antennular peduncle.
Scaphocerite three times longer than broad, apical spine not exceeding lamellar portion. Third maxilliped half the length of scaphocerite or slightly more; exopod present.
Mandible with molar and incisor process, but without palp. Carpus of pereiopod 2 three-segmented, proximal segment equal to combined length of distal pair.
Telson with two pairs of lateral spines.

Remarks
Tufts of setae sometimes occur on the carapace and pleonites.

Size:
Length up to 32 mm, normally less.

Colour:
Variable. May be red, brown, green, flecked reddish-brown or almost transparent with red and yellow blotches.

Habitat:
Down to about 50 metres. Hyperbenthic species, may swim up at night, mostly confined to the nepheloid layer. Frequent amongst algae in pools and gullies on the lower shore. Also occurs in Zostera beds.

Distribution in the North Sea:
All North Sea.

World distribution:
Ranges from the W Norway and the Faeroes southwards into the Mediterranean.

Hippolyte varians