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Common shrimp body with long antennae and five pairs of legs, the first two pairs of legs having slender claws. Orange or yellow spots on body, white leg joints, and neon blue claws. Body mostly translucent, with dark reddish-brown bands along the margins of body plates. Rostrum (beak) very wide and shovel-like in front of the eye socket, with 7 to 9 small serrated teeth along the top edge, three of them behind the eye socket, and typically three teeth on the underside of the rostrum. Can reach over 6 cm when fully grown.
Generally associated with docks and inshore along rocky coasts and tidepools. Often found in dense algal growths and in protected, shaded spots. Tolerant of salinities from nearly freshwater to hyper-saline (~1- 40 ppt). Large temperature ranges from 1°- 30°C.