The Common Prawn has large eyes and a translucent body with yellow, brown or reddish stripes. It has an elongate body with a fan-shaped telson (last segment, or appendage of the last segment of the abdomen). It has a large upturned rostrum with 6-7 dorsal teeth and 4-5 ventral teeth. The first two pairs of walking legs bear claws, and have red, blue and yellowish banding. It can move very quickly, and is a very inquisitive creature. Length up to 11cm.
It is a ominvore and it will eat virtually anything from dead animal life, to hunting other invertebrates, and to consuming plant material.
Found on the upper to lower shore, in rockpools, amongst seaweeds and under rocks and boulders. Our commonest prawn, it is widespread throughout. Prawns are a valuable food source, and are of extreme commercial interest.
Photograph of Common Prawn (Palaemon serratus), taken August 2015, in rock pool Meadfoot Beach, Torquay, Devon. © Pete Hillman 2015. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.