The common prawn is a well-known swimming crustacean, which is pinkish-brown in colour and features reddish spots and lines (2). The head and thorax are protected by a relatively thin carapace which, as in many species of prawns and shrimps, is drawn out into a projection between the eyes known as a 'rostrum' (2). The distinctive rostrum can be used to distinguish the common prawn from other species. In this species, the rostrum curves upwards, is divided in two at the tip with 6 or 7 teeth along its upper surface and 4 or 5 teeth on the underside (3). The first five segments of the abdomen bear fringed appendages known as pleopods or 'swimmerets' that are used to propel this prawn through the water. The first three appendages on the thorax are modified for use in feeding, and the remaining five pairs are known as the 'pereopods'. In this species, the first and second pairs of pereopods are tipped with pincers (2). This prawn may become infected with an isopod parasite which causes large swellings, a condition known as 'face-ache' (2).
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