Lucifer (prawn)

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Lucifer typus Rhabdosoma armatum.JPG
Lucifer typus Rhabdosoma armatum

Scientific classification
De Haan, 1849

Type species
Lucifer typus
H. Milne-Edwards, 1837 
Synonyms [1]


Lucifer is a little-known and degenerate genus of prawns, the type genus of the family Luciferidae.[2] Lucifer has a long body, but many fewer appendages than other prawns, with only three pairs of pereiopods remaining, all without claws. It also bears no gills.[3] The females, uniquely among prawns, carry the fertilised eggs on her pleopods until they are ready to hatch. This parallels the development of a similar system in pleocyemates, although the attachment is less strong in Lucifer.[3] The length of the eye-stalks and the form of the petasma are used in distinguishing the eight species from each other.

The name Lucifer is Latin for "light bearer" was given to the genus because of these prawns' bioluminescence.[4]

Two species are recognised:

Five nominal Lucifer species (L. chacei, L. faxoni, L. hanseni, L. intermedius, and L. penicillifer) have been reclassified in a distinct genus, Belzebub.[4]


  1. ^ Thomas E. Bowman & Lipke B. Holthuis. "Lucifer or Leucifer: which spelling is correct?" (PDF). Crustaceana. 14: 216–217. doi:10.1163/156854068x00638.
  2. ^ Sammy De Grave; N. Dean Pentcheff; Shane T. Ahyong; et al. (2009). "A classification of living and fossil genera of decapod crustaceans" (PDF). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Suppl. 21: 1–109. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-06.
  3. ^ a b Gary C. B. Poore & Shane T. Ahyong (2004). Marine decapod Crustacea of southern Australia: a guide to identification. CSIRO Publishing. ISBN 978-0-643-06906-0.
  4. ^ a b Alexander L. Vereshchaka; Jørgen Olesen; Anastasia A. Lunina (2016). "A phylogeny-based revision of the family Luciferidae (Crustacea: Decapoda)". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 178: 15–32. doi:10.1111/zoj.12398.