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Midwater shrimp

Midwater shrimp

Not on Exhibit

Animal Facts

  • Scientific Name

    Sergestes similis

  • Animal Type


  • Diet


  • Size

    to 1.5 inches (4 cm) long

  • Relatives

    other shrimp; crabs; lobsters

  • Habitat

    Deep Sea

  • Range

    midwater (2,297-3,281 feet, or 700-1,000 m), they migrate up and down the water column

Natural History

Midwater shrimp are one of the most abundant crustaceans in the midwater. They live in Monterey Bay year-round. These shrimp have light-producing organs on the undersides of their translucent, red and white bodies. Their blue glow matches the color and intensity of dim light from above. This "counterillumination" hides the shrimp from predators looking up from below.


Anything that finds its way into the ocean, whether it's tossed away as trash, washes off a beach or falls off a boat, may eventually make its way to the deep sea. It's important to realize that the deep sea is not so far away that it's beyond the reach of human activities. Living creatures in the deep are affected by what we do at the surface.

Cool Facts

This shrimp's long antennae—nearly four times its body length—may help it find food or mates by sensing chemicals produced by other animals.

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