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Their abdomen is not calcified and they use snail shells as portable homes. This shell once belonged to the molusca Cerithium vulgatum. These marine decapod crustaceans are omnivorous, but mostly prey on small animals and scavenge carrion. Individuals may grow up to a carapace length of 15 mm.
Lives in rockpools and sublittoral waters. It is found in the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and eastern Atlantic Ocean from the Azores to Brittany and as far north as the Channel Islands.