Females 1.1-1.5 in (3-4 cm) in length; males one-third to one-sixth female's size. Body consists of head, six thoracic segments, and five abdominal segments; last segment bears the caudal rami. The first antenna is long, thick, and subchelate; cement glands are absent. The body is often orange in color. Males have bivalved, oval, laterally compressed, and uncalcified carapaces surrounding the mantle cavity; the carapace is attached to the head, enclosing the head and thorax. The adductor muscle can close the carapace.
Females are heart-shaped with a bivalved carapace that is much larger than the trunk. First and sixth thoracic cirri are uni-ramous, the others are biramous. Thorax and abdomen are both short, and the thorax is sharply bent at the fourth segment.
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