Palaemon elegans

Palaemon elegans found in Estonia

Invasive species alert for: Palaemon elegans Rathke, 1837

Common name: Rockpool prawn

Where, when and how discovered: Photographed in a bay in Lahemaa national park (Gulf of Finland) by Kaido Haagen on 25th August 2010. Almost a year later he started to doubt initial identification (Palaemon adspersus) and sent the photos to marine specialists.

Why the concern? The species seems not to be well known, it's distribution and alien status not well studied, but seems to (locally?) outcompete native species Palaemon adspersus.

What does it look like? Looks like a small shrimp, at first glance could be confused with Palaemon adspersus. Carapace and pleonites with dark yellow-brown bands. Rostrum colourless or with small red chromatophores. Legs with yellow and blue bands. Size: length up to 63 mm.

Where might I see it? In shallow basins near shore in Baltic Sea

Invasive status: Listed as potentially invasive in Poland in the NOBANIS database. Also listed in DAISIE, but with no info about status.

Introduction status: ?

Distribution Frequency: Rare

Is there a reference specimen?: No. The identification was confirmed from a photograph.

Actions taken to date: Scientists have been notified, its presence is currently being studied.

Pathway of introduction: unknown

More info on species:

  • P. elegans in World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS)
  • P. elegans in DAISIE
  • P. elegans in Poland
  • P. elegans in Encyclopedia of Life

For more information on the siting in Estonia:

Merike Linnam├Ągi Nature Conservation Department Ministry of Environment

Photo: Palaemon elegans. All photos by Kaido Haagen

Photo: Palaemon elegans. Photos by Kaido Haagen

Photo: Palaemon elegans. All photos by Kaido Haagen

Photo: Palaemon elegans. Photos by Kaido Haagen

All photos by Kaido Haagen