Narwal Shrimp – Plesionika narval

The Narwal Shrimp is a species in the order of the Decapoda and thus belongs to the subphylum of the Crustacea.

Narwal Shrimp - Plesionika narval crustacea species diving canary islands atlantic ocean canaries
Narwal Shrimp – Plesionika narval


Plesionika narval has a transparent to slightly pink colour with red and white longitudinal stripes. Their legs are also reddish and very thin. The body is elongated. A “horn” goes off from the middle of the head. Its eyes are clearly visible and have a white colour with black pupils. They reach a maximum size of 15cm.

Habitat and Distribution

The Narwal Shrimp lives on rocky or sandy ground, near rocky reefs down to 900m depth. When diving around the Canaries you can observe them frequently. In addition, the distribution are spreads over the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the Red Sea and the Indo-Pacific. In the eastern Atlantic you can find them from the Azores to Angola.


There is very little information on the biology of Plesionika narval. They are opaque and accordingly night active. They often occur locally and I have discovered them more frequently on sandy surfaces than on reefs.

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