Juvenile and adult specimens of the deep water shrimp Heterocarpus vicarius Faxon (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea: Pandalidae) were obtained from sampling operations in the southeast Gulf of California, Mexico. The catch (10.36 kg ha−1) represents the most important
reported so far for this species. Fixed specimens were used for taxonomical and morphological analyses. Variation in rostrum:carapace length ratio was found to be related to size of individuals. Number of spines on rostrum also varies considerably, from 5–14 dorsally and 8–12 ventrally.
Fresh specimens were kept frozen and used to determine growth curve and biochemical composition of peeled tail (protein, lipid and trace metals). Protein (83.8–84.4%) and lipid (8.2–9.1%) content were independent from body size. Concentrations of trace metals (μg g−1
dry weight: Cu 17–20; Co 0.41–0.42; Cd 0.74–0.89; Cr 0.63–0.91; Mn 0.4–0.6; Fe 17–24; Ni 0.9–1.1; and Zn 26–33) were not significantly related to body size, except for Fe and Zn. On average, values were much lower than what has been reported
for trace metals in whole individuals of other species of shrimps, but were similar to values obtained in peeled tails of penaeid shrimp from the area.
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