Pacific White Shrimp
|Scientific classification |
Not necessary complete list:
True shrimp are small, swimming, decapod crustaceans usually classified in the suborder Natantia, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water.
A number of more or less unrelated crustaceans also have the word "shrimp" in their common name. Examples are the mantis shrimp and the opposum or mysid shrimp, both of which belong to the same class (Malacostraca) as the true shrimp, but constitute two different orders within it, the Stomatopoda and the Mysidacea.
Also, debates on the taxonomy of the decapods continues, and not all authorities recognise Natantia as a valid grouping, while some would place infraorders or superfamilies beneath it.
The most recent classifications tend to remove some of the shrimp, in particular the family Penaeidae, from Natantia. They then become classified within the suborder Dendrobranchiata and the infraorder Penaeoida (some authors treat Penaeoida as a suborder). The rest of the shrimp belong to a different suborder, the Pleocyemata; Natantia may serve as the name for an infraorder within this, though the name Caridea occurs more frequenly. In this scheme, the members of the Pleocyemate infraorder Caridea are regarded as the "true shrimp", while the members of the Dendrobranchiate infraorder Penaeoida are referred to as "penaeid shrimp". The table at the right reflects the older classification.
The points that seem relatively fixed amidst this fluidity are:
- All animals in the families listed at right would normally be named as shrimp, but they may not constitute a monophyletic group.
- All current classifications place all true shrimps in the order Decapoda, which groups them with crabs, lobsters and krill.
- There are some animals whose common name includes the word "shrimp" that definitely belong to other groups of crustaceans.
The usage of the common name "shrimp" also varies: zoologically, all crustaceans belonging to Natantia (or to a corresponding list of families) are called shrimps, but in common usage, especially in relation to cooking, some of the large ones are known as prawns.
Shrimp as food
A number of the larger species, including the white shrimp Penaeus setiferus, are caught commercially and used for food. Recipes utilizing shrimp form part of the cuisine of many cultures: examples include jambalaya, okonomiyaki, poon choi, bagoong and scampi.
Preparing shrimp for consumption usually involves removing the shell, tail, and "sand vein" (a euphemism for digestive tract). As with other seafood, shrimp is high in calcium, protein and low in food energy.
Shrimp and prawns are versatile ingredients, and are often used as an accompaniment to fried rice. Common methods of preparation include baking, boiling and frying. As stated in the movie Forrest Gump:
- "Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sautee it. There's, um, shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. There's pineapple shrimp and lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich..."
Shrimps in aquaria
Japanese marsh shrimp Caridina japonica
Several types of shrimp are kept in home aquaria and are useful in controlling algae and removing debris. Freshwater shrimp available for aquaria include the Japanese marsh shrimp (Caridina japonica) and ghost or glass shrimps (Palaeomonetes sp.) Popular saltwater shrimp include the cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis), the fire shrimp (Lysmata debelius) and the harlequin shrimp (Hymenocera picta).
Other more recent and unusual, but very popular freshwater shrimp suitable for Aquariums are Triops longicaudatus or Triops cancriformis (notostracans). See MyTriops.com (http://mytriops.com/)
Commercial shrimp boats in Georgetown, South Carolina harbor
People that catch shrimp are 'shrimpers', and the act of catching shrimp is called 'shrimping'. Strikers are the crewmen on the boat that set up and strike the nets.
Common methods for catching shrimp in the United States include otter trawls, cast nets, seines, and shrimp baiting. Trawling involves the use of a system of nets. Since by-catch is often an issue with trawling, conscientious commercial fishing boats use turtle excluder devices.
"Shrimp baiting" is a recreational shrimping technique. It involves a 'bait ball', which is a time-release bait, typically concocted of at least fishmeal and mud, though shrimpers sometimes have a secret concoction for their bait ball. You then put the bait balls in the water, wait a little while for the shrimp to show up, and then use small round "dip nets" to catch them.
Farming shrimp has become a renumerative coastal activity in many parts of the world, notably in many Asian and Latin American countries. Giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) and pacific white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) are the favourite culture species in the eastern and western hemisphere respectively.