Common Grass Shrimp
The common grass shrimp's body is segmented and nearly transparent. (Brian Gratwicke/Wikimedia Commons)
The common grass shrimp has a delicate, nearly transparent body with a distinctive serrated “horn” over the eyes. It lives in shallow waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.
Segmented, nearly transparent body that is compressed on either side
Pointed, serrated “horn” extending over the eyes
Claws on the first two pairs of walking legs
Grows to 1.5 inches long
Lives in shallow waters, often among bay grass beds
May move to warmer, deeper waters in winter
Found throughout most of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal rivers
Forages for worms, algae and tiny crustaceans
Small fish such as sunfish and killifish feed on grass shrimp
Reproduction and Life Cycle:
Usually spawns in summer, when water temperatures warm
Females must molt before mating
The female carries her eggs in a brood pouch, visible through the shrimp’s transparent body.
Eggs hatch into free-swimming larvae after 12-20 days. Larvae go through several developmental phases over the first 1-2 months of life.
Lives approximately one year
Sources and Additional Information: