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(Sars, 1861)

Description
Rostrum triangular, narrow, unarmed with rounded apex; extends almost to anterior margin of eye.
Carapace with three anteriorly directed spines on median line, small tubercle usually in front of anterior spine; five or six ridge-like spines on first lateral carina, two or three on second carina.
Stylocerite broad, rounded diamond shape, slightly longer than eye.
Scaphocerite with outer border slightly concave, apical spine stout and exceeding lamellar portion Third maxilliped 1.33 x 1.5 length of scaphocerite; exopod and arthrobranch present.
Mandible with molar process only, tips of teeth rounded.
Pereiopod 1 sub-chelate. Pereiopod 2 extends to proximal quarter of propus of pereiopod 1. Dactyl of pereiopod 2 about 0.83 x length of propus. Endopods of pleopods 2-5 comprise single segment plus appendix interna in male, but single segment without appendix interna in female.
Telson with two pairs of small lateral spines.

Size
Length up to 45 mm.

Colour
Usually pale greenish, with dark red chromatophores. Gastric area redbrown.

Ecology
Usually on muddy substrates. It is not certain whether this (hyperbenthic ?) species never swims up into the water column; adults may get caught with pelagic sampling. Ovigerous females occur from February to September, with maximum numbers in the summer months.

Depth range
Down to about 60-900 m.

Distribution in the North Sea
All North Sea, except British east coasts.

World distribution
Ranges from W Norway southwards into the Mediterranean and to the Atlantic coast of Morocco.

[Mainly after Smaldon, 1993]

Philocheras echinulatus