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Palaemon serratus


Palaemon serratus

Palaemon serratus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Caridea
Family: Palaemonidae
Genus: Palaemon
Species: P. serratus
Binomial name
Palaemon serratus
(Pennant, 1777) [1]
Synonyms [2][3]
  • Astacus serratus Pennant, 1777
  • Cancer captivus Nardo, 1847
  • Leander latreillianus Czerniavsky, 1884
  • Leander serratus Sharp, 1893
  • Leander treillianus Adensamer, 1898
  • Melicerta triliana Risso, 1816
  • Palaemon oratelli Monod, 1931
  • Palaemon punctulatus Risso, 1844
  • Palaemon rostratus Gimenez, 1922
  • Palaemon treillianus H. Milne-Edwards, 1837
  • Palaemon trilianus (Risso, 1816)
  • Palaemon trillianus Risso, 1816

Palaemon serratus, also called the common prawn, is a species of shrimp found in the Atlantic Ocean from Denmark to Mauritania, and in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea.[4]


  • Ecology 1
  • Description 2
  • Fisheries 3
  • References 4


Individuals live for 3–5 years[5] in groups in rocky crevices at depths of up to 40 metres (130 ft).[6] Females grow faster than males, and the population is highly seasonal, with a pronounced peak in the autumn.[7] They are preyed upon by a variety of fish, including species of Mullidae, Moronidae, Sparidae and Batrachoididae.[8]


P. serratus may be distinguished from other species of shrimp by the rostrum, which curves upwards, is bifurcated at the tip and has 6–7 along its upper edge, and 4–5 teeth on the lower edge.[4] Other speciesmay have a slightly curved rostrum, but then the teeth on its dorsal surface continue into the distal third, which is untoothed in P. serratus.[9] P. serratus is pinkish brown, with reddish patterns, and is typically 100 millimetres (3.9 in) long, making it the largest of the native shrimp and prawns around the British Isles.[10]

P. serratus is one of the few invertebrates to have its hearing studied in detail; it is sensitive to frequencies between 100 Hz and 3kHz, with an acuity similar to that of generalist fish.[11] While the hearing range of a P. serrratus individual changes as it grows, all are capable of hearing tones at 500 Hz.[12]


A small commercial fishery exists for P. serratus on the west coast of Great Britain,[5] chiefly in West Wales (Cemaes Head to the Llŷn Peninsula),[13] but extending increasingly far north to include parts of Scotland.[14] In Ireland, fishing for P. serratus began at Baltimore, County Cork in the 1970s and subsequently expanded. A peak landing of 548 t was recorded in 1999, and four counties account for over 90% of the catch — Galway, Kerry, Cork and Waterford.[15] There is now concern that the current levels of exploitation may represent overfishing, and measures are being considered to limit the catch, such as a minimum landing size.[13]


  1. ^ "Palaemon serratus".  
  2. ^ (Pennant, 1777)"Palaemon serratus". 2008 Annual Checklist.  
  3. ^ "Palaemon serratus". Aquaculture Compendium.  
  4. ^ a b )"Palaemon serratus"Common prawn (.  
  5. ^ a b Torry Research Station. "Handling and processing shrimp". Torry Advisory Notes — No. 54.  
  6. ^ "Marine Irish Digital Atlas".  
  7. ^ Guillermo Guerao & Carlos Ribera (2000). (Decapoda, Palaemonidae) in a shallow Mediterranean bay"Palaemon serratus"Population characteristics of the prawn .  
  8. ^ Rita Sá, Constança Bexigaa, Pedro Veigaa, Lina Vieiraa & Karim Erzini (2006). "Feeding ecology and trophic relationships of fish species in the lower Guadiana River Estuary and Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António salt marsh".  
  9. ^ Christopher W. Ashelby, Tim M. Worsfold & Charles H. J. M. Fransen (2004). (Decapoda: Caridea), an alien species in European waters, with a revised key to British Palaemonidae"Palaemon macrodactylus"First records of the oriental prawn .  
  10. ^ M. R. Reeve (1968). (Pennant) for cultivation — a preliminary assessment"Palaemon serratus"The suitability of the English prawn . FAO Fisheries Report ( 
  11. ^ J. M. Lovella, M. M. Findlaya, R. M. Moateb & H. Y. Yan (2005). "The hearing abilities of the prawn Palaemon serratus".  
  12. ^ J. M. Lovell, R. M. Moate, L. Christiansen & M. M. Findlay (2006). "Palaemon serratus"The relationship between body size and evoked potentials from the statocysts of the prawn .  
  13. ^ a b Jeremy Percy (2006). prawn fisheries — a consideration of future possible actions"Palaemon"The Welsh coastal .  
  14. ^ : sustainable development"Palaemon serratus".  
  15. ^ Edward Fahy, Niamh Forrest, Ruth Mortimer & Jim Carroll (2006). (Pennant) in Irish Coastal Waters"Palaemon serratus"Indicators of performance in the fishery for shrimp .  
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