Penaeidae - Penaeid Shrimps

This family of shrimps contains some of the most valuable commercial species of shrimps. They are characterized by having a well-developed toothed rostrum which extends to or past the eye stalk. Their first three pairs of legs are chelate (clawed) and all five pairs of legs are well developed. They lack a postorbital spine (small spine directly behind the orbit), and their first abdominal segment over laps the second segment. Six species commonly occur in Texas. The three most important commercial shrimps, the brown, pink and white shrimps, use the estuaries for a nursery ground and, when mature, emigrate to the Gulf of Mexico for spawning. Brown and pink shrimps are the small table shrimps usually sold in restaurants. Gulf white shrimps are the jumbo shrimps. A small short-term fishery also exists for the seabobs in the Gulf off northeast Texas. The roughback and roughneck shrimps are small and are not fished commercially, though they might be caught incidentally in other shrimping operations. The imported Asian tiger shrimp is also in this family. These shrimps are raised in Texas on shrimp farms, and occasionally accidental releases into the bays occur. These shrimps have been caught in Texas' waters, but there is no indication that an established population has taken hold.