Grass Shrimp

(Palaemonetes pugio)

A grass shrimp
A grass shrimp. Note the transparent body!

This is probably the most frequently captured creature in the seine surveys at King’s Landing.  Records of over 4,000 individuals of this species have been recorded by a single seventh grade class!  The grass shrimp is also frequently observed leaping out of the  water along the edges of Cocktown Creek.  This shrimp is an important food source for many Bay creatures including small rockfish and white perch.  The grass shrimp feeds upon any type of small plant or animal matter that it can collect in the shallow water of the river and the Bay.

During the late spring and early fall field trips, students will often find grass shrimp carrying clutches of eggs on the underside of the body.  Occasionally grass shrimp carry an external parasite, a type of isopod that is usually seen around the gills of the shrimp.

A graph of the grass shrimp caught between 1997-2006
A graph of the grass shrimp caught between 1997-2006