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(Leach, 1814)

Description
Rostrum straight, unarmed, normally extending little beyond distal end of basal segment of antennular peduncle, apex acutely pointed.
Carapace with anterior projections which partly cover the eyes in dorsal view, the projections bearing two lateral spines plus small dorsal lobe.
Stylocerite narrow, acutely pointed, 0.66-0.75 x length of scaphocerite, slightly longer in large specimen.
Scaphocerite equal in length to antennular peduncle, apical spine stout, exceeding lamellar portion. Third maxilliped about equal in length to scaphocerite; epipod and exopod present.
Mandible with incisor and molar process, and two-segmented palp.
Pereiopods 1-3 with epipods, setobranch on pereiopod 4. Pereiopod 1 with reduced exopod. First pereiopods larger than second pair, often asymmetrical in male.
Carpus of pereiopod 2 with five segments. Pleonite 6 with articulated process at base of uropods.
Telson with two pairs of lateral spines.

Size
Length up to 20 mm.

Colour
Variable. Often green, blue or red-brown, frequently with a longitudinal white dorso-median stripe extending the full length of the animal. May also be almost transparent, speckled with red chromatophores.

Ecology
Occasionally in rock-pools. May occur under large stones especially where the substrate is gravelly. Often occur in groups of adults and juveniles. Adults may get caught with plankton sampling. Ovigerous females occur from May to August-September.

Depth range
Down to about 65 m. Hyperbenthic species, may swim up at night, but mostly confined to the nepheloid layer.

Distribution in the North Sea
All North Sea.

World distribution
Ranges from S and W Norway and W coast of Sweden southwards to the Cape Verde Islands and into the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

[mainly after Smaldon, 1993]

Athanas nitescens