The killer shrimp has only been found in a handful of locations in England and Wales but due to its small size and its ability to survive in damp conditions it can spread easily and is considered a very real threat. The killer shrimp is a voracious predator of native invertebrates and as a consequence can cause disruption to the freshwater ecosystem directly through predation and can also indirectly effect the food chain. Changes in the food chain could alter the distribution of fish, whilst parasites carried by the killer shrimp could reduce fish stock.

Killer shrimp (Dikerogammarus villosus)

Pacifastacus leniusculus
Pacifastacus leniusculus

Killer Shrimp (Dikerogammarus villosus)

Native Shrimp (Gammarus pulex)

Tail with distinctive cone like protrusions

Tail without cones

Usually has a stripped back (although can sometimes be uniform)

Larger size than nature shrimp. Can grow up to 30mm but usually 10-20mm

0mm

30mm

No dark stripes

Brown/yellow body

Smaller than killer shrimp, usually 11mm but can grow up to 20mm

0mm

20mm

How did they get to the UK?

First recorded in the UK in 2010, the killer shrimp originates from the Ponto-Caspian region and is found in large rivers in the Black and Caspian Sea basins. The opening of the Danube-Main-Rhine canal in the early nineties allowed the killer shrimp to expand its range naturally as well as being transported in ballast waters.

What can I do to prevent it spreading?

The killer shrimp can be transported on surfaces such as waders, boats and angling equipment. It can survive for many days in a damp crease in waders or fishing nets. For this reason we urge ant river users to follow the check, clean, dry advice before moving between water courses.

Check your equipment and clothing for live plants and animals – particularly in areas that are damp or hard to inspect.

Clean and wash all equipment, footwear and clothing thoroughly.

Dry all equipment and clothing – some species can live for many days in moist conditions.
Make sure you don’t transfer water elsewhere.

Report an Invasive Species

 

Tel: 01576 470600

 

email: invasives@annanfisheryboard.co..uk

Contact Us

 

Fisheries Office
Annandale Estates, St Ann's
Lockerbie
Tel: 01576 470600

Mobile: 07710331079
E-mail:

director@annanfisheryboard.co.uk

Get your copy of the Fisherman's Guide to the River Annan

 

 

 

Information about Killer Shrimp