Body length up to 67 mm; whitish with pink or blue spots, sometimes greenish grey (Callianassa tyrrhena). Rostrum practically absent, eyes small and close together. The third maxillipeds form an operculum, their lower articles (merus and ischium) being broad and flat. Chelipeds unequal, left sometimes the larger; fingers cross at tips; joint between carpus and merus narrow, but not wasp-waisted; outgrowth on merus curved, serrate and sharp. Lower margin of chela hairy; bristles on dactyl. Dactyl of pereiopod 3 rectangular, plate-like. Telson considerably shorter than uropods.
Burrows in muddy sand, between 5 and 20 metres, or deeper.
From south Norway to the Mediterranean.