Shrimp,a common decapod or ten-footed and long-tailed crustacean, of the genus cran-gon (Fabr.); with the prawn (palaemon) it is called crevette by the French. The integument is corneous, the carapace considerably flattened, the abdomen very large, and the tail powerful; the rostrum very short; eyes large and free; antennae inserted about on the same transverse line, the internal pair the shortest and ending in two many-jointed filaments, the outer larger, and longer; mandibles slender and without palpi; jaw feet moderate, with a terminal flattened joint and a short palpus on the inside; sternum very wide behind; first pair of feet strong, ending in a flattened hand having a movable hook opposed to an immovable tooth; second and third pairs of legs very slender, and the fourth and fifth much stronger; branchiae seven on each side, consisting of horizontal lamellae; false swimming feet on under side of abdomen large, and caudal plates wide. The common shrimp (0. vulgaris, Fabr.) is 1½ to 2½ in. long, greenish gray spotted with brown; the carapace is smooth, except a spine behind the rostrum, one on the sternum, and seven on each side of the thorax; abdomen without ridges or spines, and middle caudal plate pointed and not grooved below.
It is common on the coasts of Europe, and in England and France it is much used as food. The shrimpers catch these animals in large nets with a semicircular mouth, which they push before them along the bottom during ebb tide; this fishery gives employment to many hundred people in Great Britain. Shrimps are used in the United States chiefly as bait. They spawn throughout most of the year, carrying the eggs attached to the swimming appendages, and cast their skins from March to June. They feed on such animals as they can seize with their claws, and on what may be killed by the waves or other causes, and are themselves devoured by fishes, aquatic birds, echini, and star fishes. Other species are found in the Mediterranean. Though the American shrimp received from Say a different name from that of Europe, there seem to be no well marked specific differences. - The long-beaked, almost transparent crustacean, commonly called shrimp in New England, and used sometimes for bait, has been described by Mr. Stimpson as palae-monopsis vulgaris.
Common Shrimp (Crangon vulgaris).