Dock Shrimp   (Pandalus danae)



The dock shrimp is commonly seen around docks and floats.  It is very colorful with red and white bands on its legs along with translucent and red stripes on its tail.  It is a rather large shrimp growing up to five inches.  The antennae, which are as long as its body, are used to feel around its surroundings.  The large eyes are located behind the antennae.  The muscular tail rapidly flips forward propelling the animal backward allowing it to escape from predators.  Usually moving about at night, coon-stripe shrimp hunt large members of the plankton as well as smaller shrimp, crabs and amphipods.  See video of Dock Shrimp and associated animals.


These shrimp exhibit an unusual reproductive mechanism.  The young small shrimp are all males.  As they grow older and larger, they turn into females.  


The dock shrimp is a member of a large group of animals called Crustaceans.  Other crustaceans are crabs, amphipods, lobsters and barnacles.  Crustaceans are segmented animals with a hard covering called an exoskeleton which they shed as they grow.  They are related to animals such as insects, spiders, scorpions and ticks who have a similar body structure.  Together they are all called Arthropods.


The dock shrimp ranges from central California to Alaska and from the intertidal zone to a depth of 600 ft.  They are often captured in shrimp traps and eaten by humans.  Contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for harvesting regulations.