Rostrum straight, with convex upper margin and apex often slightly upturned; about 1.5 x length of antennular peduncle; dorsal rostral teeth variable in number and extending posteriorly to about 0.66 x length of carapace, making an angle of about 20-25° with posterior border of carapace. Apex of rostrum normally an acute single point, with series of smaller teeth posterior and ventral to that point; ventral border convex. Inner basal part of eyestalk with tubercle.
Carapace with two supra-orbital spines, and antennal, branchiostegal and pterygostomian spines.
Stylocerite acutely pointed, about 0.75 x length of antennular peduncle.
Scaphocerite outer border very slightly convex, apical spine exceeding lamellar portion. Third maxilliped 1-1.25 x length scaphocerite; epipod and exopod present.
Mandible with molar and incisor process, and two-segmented palp.
Pereiopods 1-3 with epipods, reduced setobranch on pereiopod 4. Carpus of pereiopod 2 seven-segmented. Dactyli of pereiopods 3-5 slender, about 0.33 x length of propus. Pleonite 3 only slightly produced into a "hook" over pleonite 4. Small tooth on ventro-posterior border of pleonite 4.
Telson with three or four pairs of lateral spines.
Rostral shape is variable in this species: Dons (1915) and Greve (1963) figure other variations.
Length up to 74 mm, usually 40-60 mm.
Often bright red, occasionally dark red and frequently with white or yellowish spots on carapace and pleon.
Hyperbenthic species, may swim up at night, mostly confined to the nepheloid layer; adults may get caught with pelagic sampling. Ovigerous females occur from November to March-April.
Down to about 20-230 m, although recorded as deep as 1200 m.
Distribution in the North Sea
Northern North Sea, Skagerrak.
Ranges from Greenland, Iceland and Spitzbergen south to the British Isles in the E Atlantic and from Delaware Bay northwards to the Davis Strait on the American Coast.
[mainly after Smaldon, 1993]