Palaemonetes varians

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Version française
Wrote by Tipic, translated by Logow

Palaemonetes varians
(Leach, 1814)

Palaemonetes varians Synonyms :

  • Leadner varians (Leach, 1814)
  • Palaemon varians Leach, 1814
  • Palaemon variabilis Bouchard-chantereaux, 1829
  • Palaemonetes varians subsp. microgenitor Boas, 1889
  • Palaemonetes varians subsp. occidentalis Sollaud, 1923

Common names :

  • Atlantic ditch shrimp
  • Camarón de acequias
  • Bouquet des canaux
  • Crevette des marais
  • Brackwassergarnele

See taxonomy

Origin : Atlantic shores, the Channel, North sea, Mediterranean.

Carte Palaemonetes varians

Water Specifications :

  • pH : 7.5 to 8.5 (adding salt is recommended)
  • GH : 12 to 30
  • Temperature : 5 to 26 °C / 41 to 78.8 °F

Size :

  • Male : 3.6 cm
  • Female : 4.5 cm

P.varians Description : Characteristic shape of the shrimps belonging to the Palaemonetes genus, the rostrum is of medium length, slightly curved and doesn’t go past the antenna pods. However it is relatively massive and presents the following spike combination : 3-6 /1-3. The second pair of periopods is transformed into long and thin claws. The transparent body leaves the internal organs visible. Rostre A few red and yellow dots (chromatophores) are located on the cuticle in a disorganized manner. The base of the antennules presents a brown to beige colouration. The extremity of the propodus and of the dactylus (See article on morphology) are yellow to orange in colour. However this very slight colouration is difficult to see without a macro photography. The general apearance of this shrimps reminds of the Ghost shrimps often imported from Asia for the trade.

P.varians Behaviour : This Palaemonetes can cohabitate with other shrimps like Atyaephyra desmaresti without any problems. The water specification will just need fine tuning to correspond to both species needs. In the wild, Palaemonetes varians is found with Gasterosteus aculeatus, however the sociability of this fish regarding the shrimps is uncertain. The tank should offer a good oxygen level and a low temperature. they can handle temperatures over 24 °C on a short time frame.

Life span : not discovered during our researches.

Feeding habits : Omnivorous. In the wild it feeds on insect larva, plants or little animals in decomposition. In captivity, it doesn’t take long for her to get used to normal food like fakes or bottom tabs. Some quality frozen food is an essential complement for their needs (mysis, krill, red mosquito larva will be much appreciated). It will also accept from time to time some dried nettle leaves.

Sexual dismorphism : The male is smaller and thinner than the female. The second pair of pleopods on the male carries the male appendages.

P varians Grainée Reproduction : The reproduction is of indirect type, the eggs are numerous and of small size: 0.8 mm. The larva after hatching are part of the pelagic fauna, it’s only after a few cycles of metamorphosis that the larva will evolve into perfectly formed shrimps. These juveniles then become benthic animals. oeufs

Specificity : The Palaemonetes are represented in Europe by various species like Palaemonetes antennarius, Palamonetes zariquieyi who have been mistaken for a long time with Palaemonetes varians. A few Palaemon are also very close to each other and can lead to mistakes with a rushed identification. The combination of their natural habitat with their morphology allows an accurate identification. Some species are barely known by aquarists, although these can be as interesting to observe and maintain, and why not to try and breed in captivity?

We would like to thank Pierre Noël and Mélanie Beguer for the help and the information brought about this European shrimp.


Links :


Sources (Scientific Litterature) :

  • Notes explicatives sur le programme FAO des fiches d’Identification des espèces pour les besoines de la pêche - Chapitre Crevettes par L.B. Holthuis page 189-291
  • An illustrated key to species of Palaemon and Palaemonetes (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea) from European waters, including the alien species Palaemon macrodactylus Enrique Gonzàlez-Ortegon and José A. Cuesta, J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. (2006), 86, 93 - 102

Sources (Bibliography) :

  • Süßwassergarnelen aus aller Welt, Andreas Karge & Werner Klotz (page 125)

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