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Type: Correspondence
Published: 2020-11-20
Page range: 597–600
Abstract views: 83
PDF downloaded: 4

Ontogeny of an arlequin: morphological and colour pattern changes from juvenile to adult in Gnathophyllum elegans (Risso, 1816) (Decapoda: Palaemonidae), traced through citizen science and social media data mining

Department of Agriculture, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, I-07100 Sassari, Italy.
Department of Agriculture, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, I-07100 Sassari, Italy.
Department of Integrative Marine Ecology, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa Comunale, I-80121 Naples, Italy
Decapoda Palaemonidae


The spotted bumblebee shrimp Gnathophyllum elegans (Risso, 1816) is a caridean species of the family Palaemonidae Rafinesque, 1815 widely distributed in the eastern Atlantic and the entire Mediterranean Sea (Zariquiey Alvarez 1968; d’Udekem d’Acoz 1999; De Grave et al. 2015). It is a solitary sciaphilous taxon that grows up to 40 mm of total length, and at daytime hides under stones, in crevices or amidst Posidonia oceanica (Linnaeus) Delile rhizomes from the intertidal to about 30 m depth, with some authors even considering it as preferring coralligenous environments (Pérès & Picard 1964; Ledoyer 1968; d’Udekem d’Acoz 1999). Such a cryptic behavior makes the detection of G. elegans often difficult in the field, although the species is easily distinguishable by the other eastern Atlantic-Mediterranean shrimp species due to its colourful appearance and mostly due to its dark purple-brown body entirely covered by yellow-orange dots (Zariquiey Alvarez 1968; Falciai & Minervini 1992).


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