An Information/Education Series from the Marine Resources Division

South Carolina Shrimp

Shrimp Diagram

Three shallow-water species of shrimp are recreationally and commercially important in South Carolina. A description of these is provided (A, B, & C) together with two similar (D and E) but less important species that often confuse the layman.

A Litopenaeus setiferus
Common Name- White Shrimp
Remarks: Pale to whitish color with the tail edged in green. No groove present along the base of either side of the rostrum or along the head. Antennae twice as long as the body. Last tail segment keeled. Rostrum slightly longer than that of the brown or pink shrimp.

B Farfantepenaeus aztecus
Common Name- Brown Shrimp
Remarks: Brownish in color. Groove present along the base of both sides of rostrum and along the length of the head. Tail edged in red and blue. Antennae less than twice as long as the body and rostrum not as long as that of the white shrimp.

C Farfantepenaeus duorarum
Common Name- Pink Shrimp, Hopper and Brown-spotted Shrimp
Remarks: Brownish in color and often somewhat darker than the brown shrimp. Usually a prominent dark spot on each side of the tail. Grooves on the head along the rostrum and the last segment of the tail similar to the brown shrimp but less pronounced.

D Palaemonetes vulgaris
Common Name- Grass Shrimp, Hardback (Not a recreational or commercial species.)
Remarks: Occur throughout estuarine waters in great numbers. Frequently confused with white shrimp. Average between 1 and 2 inches in length with a relatively long rostrum with teeth on the lower edge. Stubby in appearance, head larger in proportion to the tail than in the other species.

E Trachypenaeus constrictus
Common Name- Spotted Shrimp, Hardback (Not a recreational or commercial species.)
Remarks: Occur in inshore waters and along beaches just offshore. Light brown to pinkish in color with grayish spots on its tail. Short rostrum not grooved on each side.

Back to Sea Science Shrimp

This publication was made possible in part with funds from the sale of the South Carolina Saltwater Recreational Fishing License and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sportfish Restoration Fund. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources publishes an annual Rules and Regulations booklet that lists all saltwater fishing regulations. Have an enjoyable fishing trip by reading these requirements before you fish.

Author credentials: J. David Whitaker, Peter Kingsley-Smith of the Marine Resources Division

The above information on shrimp is available in a brochure, please download the Sea Science - Shrimp information pamphlet which is in the Adobe PDF file format. Adobe® Reader® is required to open the files and is available as a free download from the Adobe® Web site.

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