Callianassa tyrrhena

(Petagna, 1792)

Rostrum short and broadly triangular with tip blunt. Eyes bluntly triangular, reaching beyond rostrum with practically their full length.
Antennal angles also bluntly angular, without spine. Antennular peduncle slightly longer than antennal peduncle.
Third maxilliped with merus and ischium expanded to form an operculum; last three segments not widened, much narrower and slenderer than operculum. Large chela without deep concavity in anterior margin of palm. Carpus as long as or slightly shorter than palm, and about as long as high. Merus with a rounded lobe in the basal part of lower margin; this lobe crenulate and not ending in a sharp point.
Telson about as long as wide. Lateral margins convex, forming a regular curve with posterior margin. No spines present on telson. Endopod of uropod broadly oval or quadrangular with rounded corners, slightly longer than telson. Colour pale pink.

Type locality of C. tyrrhena: " In nostri maris arena habitat", i.e. the sea near Naples, Italy, where Petagna was a teacher. Whereabouts of type material unknown.
Type locality of Callianassa laticauda: "Ich fand diesen Krebs in ziemlicher Anzahl zu Nizza" ( = Nice, dépt. Alpes Maritimes, S. France). Depository of syntypes unknown.
Type locality of C. stebbingi: Jersey, Channel Islands, UK. Two syntypes in BM, no. 84.18, in alcohol, condition fair.

Geographical Distribution:
Eastern Atlantic region from the North Sea and the Kattegat to Mauritania (N.W. Africa), also in the entire Mediterranean. Previous records from the Black Sea may pertain to C. candida (Olivi, 1792) a species also known as C. pontica Czerniavsky, 1884 or C. pestae De Man, 1928.

Habitat and Biology:
The species is found from the mesolittoral zone to a depth of a few meters (there are records of depths of 70 m). It burrows in the sand or muddy sand. The burrows may be 40 cm deep or more and have several exits. Water with low salinity is avoided

Total body length up to 7 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
Already Petagna (1792: 418) in the original description remarked: "piscium esca praestantissima". Cottiglia (1983: 85) also observed that the species and especially the large specimens are used as bait by sport fishermen, although it does not show the same resistance to the fish hook as does Upogebia pusilla.