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Characteristics, distribution and ecology
Taxonomische classification
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Esmark, 1866

Rostrum short, slender, spinous with wide base and inferior margin concave, rising from dorsal carina of carapace.
Stylocerite twisted, acutely pointed.
Scaphocerite (including apical spine) more than 0.5 x length of the carapace; outer margin evenly convex throughout length with long, stout apical spine exceeding lamellar portion. Third maxilliped extends to distal end of scaphocerite, exopod present.
Mandible without palp or molar process, but with incisor process.
Carapace with slender branchiostegal spine.
Pereiopods 1 and 2 with slender chelae, cutting edges pectinate. Pereiopods 1-5 with exopods. Basis of pereiopod 2 bears seven to twelve (rarely six to twelve) stout ventral spines, fewer in juveniles; merus with 18-25 spines, occasionally more. Distinct dorsal carina on pleonites 25 and on first two-thirds of pleonite 6.
Telson narrow, deeply cleft at apex.

Length up to 110 mm, normally less.

Normally semi-transparent or milky-white. Juveniles may be transparent.

The rostrum in P. multidentata has been reported being deformed due to infection by Ellobiopsidae (Sivertsen and Holthuis, 1956 Fig. 20 p. 28; Smaldon, 1993).

Gravid females occur over a wide part of the year, but greatest reproductive activity occurs during April-May and August-September.

Depth range
Pelagic species; down to about 10-2000 m, most frequent from 100-500 m.

Distribution in the North Sea
Northern North Sea, including SW coasts of Norway, Skagerrak (Sivertsen and Holthuis, 1956); probably absent from the south.

World distribution
Ranges from S Greenland and N Norway southwards to Morocco, including the Mediterranean and Adriatic. Known from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Massachusetts.

[mainly after Smaldon, 1993]

Pasiphaea multidentata