- Maximum size: males 3.5 cm and females 1.5 cm;
- Colour: variable from pale orange to red;
- Long cylindrical body, males with a long two-segmented neck;
- Females carry eggs in a ventral (belly) pouch, which is covered with dark red spots;
- Males very hairy on neck and claws.
There are several native caprellid species that resemble Caprella mutica. However, these species grow mainly on natural substrates and are not hairy.
ECOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS
- Infests man-made structures such as buoys and mussel aquaculture socks, sometimes reaching numbers of 100,000 individuals per square meter;
- May compete with mussels for food and space.
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