Athanas nitescens is a small shrimp measuring up to 2 cm in length. Its colour varies from green-blue, or red-brown, and can also be transparent and speckled with red chromatophores. The rostrum is well developed, straight, unarmed, projecting beyond segment one of antenna one, with an acutely pointed apex. Two anterior projections (bearing two lateral spines, and a small dorsal lobe) of the carapace particularly cover the eyes dorsally, hence the name hooded shrimp. The first pereiopod's (thoracic limbs) are larger than the second, symmetrical in females and predominantly asymmetrical in males. Females chelae are also slimmer than the males. The telson forming the tailfan with the uropods have two pairs of lateral spines, as well as an articulated process on pleonite six at the base of the uropods.This species is often found in groups of adults and juveniles. Ovigerous females occur from May through to September.
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