Gnathia maxillaris

(Montagu, 1804)

— Praniza. Description not available. Late pranizas (juveniles) with pereion segments 3-5 fused and inflated. Antennal flagellum (a2) with seven segments. Telson ending in a sharp point.
—ÊMale. Only five pairs of ambulatory pereiopods. Cephalon fused with two pereion segments, limbs of the second fused segment modified as flattened pylopods, which cover the mouthparts ventrally. Adult pylopod of two or three articles. Male with the front of the cephalon having a shallow central concavity with only a slight rounded median forward projection; lateral corners square, cephalon wider than long. Lateral tooth of mandible closely applied to mandible itself. Last pereion segment reduced and without limbs; best seen in males, where it is narrow and equal in width to the pleon segments. Male with large mandibles, which project in front of the cephalon and are forceps-like.

Size of praniza unknown; male body length up to 4.5-5.0 mm.

Depth range
Surface; the adult lives in the littoral. Probably the most common intertidal gnathiid in open marine localities, adults well hidden in rock crevices and crevice-like situations such as dead barnacles and Laminaria holdfasts.

Distribution in the North Sea
Southern North Sea.

World distribution
E Atlantic Ocean, also Mediterranean.

[description after Monod, 1926]