Skip to main content

Brown Shrimp

Farfantepenaeus aztecus


  • Brown to gray in color, with yellow or orange tinge; occasionally reddish or greenish
  • Tips of tail blue-green to olive-green
  • Carapace and base of tail smooth with broad, deep grooves along midline
  • Decapod crustaceans with five pairs of legs; first three sets are walking legs with claws
  • Well-developed, toothed rostrum that extends to or beyond outer edge of the eyes
  • Large, well-developed eyes; large swimmerets; antennae slightly longer than body

Similar Species

Pink shrimp Farfantepenaeus duorarum (dark-colored spot usually present on each side between third and fourth abdominal segments); white shrimp Litopenaeus setiferus (lacks grooves on carapace; longer antennae than brown or pink shrimp)


Maximum size about 7 to 9 inches in body length.


Inshore and offshore habitats in areas of higher salinities over organic-rich, mud bottoms. Juveniles usually inhabit seagrass beds and algal mats within estuaries.


Larvae feed on plankton (tiny floating plants and animals); juvenile and adult shrimp feed at the bottom at night on worms, algae, microscopic animals, and various types of detritus.


Brown shrimp can spawn year-round with peak spawning occurring in February and March. Spawning occurs in relatively deep water. Females typically release about 500,000 to 1 million eggs near the ocean floor.

Additional Information

Short life span, usually less than 2 years.

Recreational regulations

Also known as: Penaeus aztecus