Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
DescriptionA dorso-ventrally flattened crustacean with an elongated rounded oblong shaped body. Body mostly dark purple to brown with white diamond-shaped patches or stripes down the midline and white markings along the edges of the body. Females tend to be darker than males. Males range in length from 4-11 mm and females from 7-10 mm. The distinctive head bears two dorso-lateral eyes, a pair of short antennules, and a pair of antennae. Most of body is taken up by a thorax composed on seven sections (somites). The body ends in a short abdomen (two somites) and a distinct tail-piece (the pleotelson). The antennule extend to the third segment of the antenna. The antenna is robust with a short flagellum that is densley covered with hairs in males. The pleotelson in adults is characteristic, with straight or slightly convex sides, a rounded end and only an indistinct middle tooth or process.