Light grey or translucent blue in color with green tips on the tail. No grooves on body or tail. Long black antennae which are 2.5 to 3 times the length of their body. Can grow up to 8 inches long.
Range and Habitat
Range from Nova Scotia south to the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern coast of Central America. Predominant in inshore waters in summer through fall. Larvae move from offshore waters into estuaries; juveniles live in marsh edge habitat, flooded grasses, and aquatic vegetation in upper estuaries. Move into deeper water and live closer to the bottom as they grow.
Extremely abundant, fast-growing, and short-lived. Most live less than 2 years. Mate and spawn offshore. Spawning peaks in the summer and fall. Eggs hatch offshore. Currents transport larvae inshore to estuarine nursery areas. Larvae eat plankton by filter feeding and later feed on decaying organic matter. Juveniles are omnivorous, eating microorganisms, plants, and small invertebrates. Adults are more predatory, feeding on insect larvae and larger marine invertebrates. Cannibalism in common in adults.