• Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Crustacea
  • Class: Malacostraca
  • Subclass: Eumalacostraca
  • Superorder: Eucarida
  • Order: Decapoda
  • Suborder: Pleocyemata
  • Infraorder: Caridea
  • Norwegian: reker


True shrimps are swimming decapods. Their elongated bodies are divided into three sections; the head, thorax and tail (abdomen). The carapace is a strong armor protecting the head and gills. The rostrum, the front spine between the eyes, takes different shapes and can be used for identification in many cases.

The sexes are separate, some are hermaphrodites, they change sex from male to female during their life span.


There are approximately 2800 species of shrimps worldwide. Many species are found in fresh-water, but still 13 superfamilies are registered in the European marine fauna. Only two families are represented here, Hippolytidae and Pandalidae. These two families include most of the common species found in shallow Norwegian waters.