Freshwater Shrimp - Gammarus pulex

    Alt Name
    River Shrimp
    Description

    A greyish or brownish freshwater crustacean growing to 21 mm but usually much less . Not a true shrimp, but sometimes referred to as the Freshwater Shrimp or River Shrimp.

    Photo ID?
    Habitat

    Freshwater. They prefer flowing water but have also been found in ponds.

    When to see it

    All year round.

    Life History

    The life cycle of Gammarus pulex is complex. Males grab and hold females before deciding which one is likely to produce lots of eggs. Then the male carries his chosen female for several weeks until she sheds her skin and the male can mate with her. He then lets her go and she carries the developing young in a brooding pouch. After about a month, the young shrimps swim out of the brood pouch, and a few months later they can breed themselves. As females can produce up to 50 young each month, the population soon grows.

    UK Status

    Common and widespread in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map