White shrimp larvae feed on both zooplankton such as copepods, and phytoplankton such as unicellular green algae, and diatoms. Juvenile and adult white shrimp are benthic omnivores that feed on detritus, plants, microorganisms, macroinvertebrates (annelids, copepods, amphipods, snails, bryozoans, etc.) and small fish (Muncy 1984). Cannibalism is also common among adult white shrimp (Perez-Farfante 1969).Competitors: Penaeus setiferus is likely to compete with its congeners P. aztecus and P. duorarum for resources as well as for habitat. However, white shrimp are known to burrow more shallowly into muddy substrata, and have been shown to be somewhat more active during daylight hours than either brown or pink shrimp. Seasonal recruitment of the 3 common Penaeus species into estuarine nursery grounds is also somewhat staggered, thus reducing direct competition for resources.Habitats: Penaeus setiferus commonly inhabits estuaries and the inner littoral zone along coasts to depths of approximately 30 m. In the Gulf of Mexico, P. setiferus can be found in depths as great as 80 m; however, they are most abundant in brackish wetlands with connections to shallow, coastal areas.Juvenile Penaeus setiferus prefer muddy substrata rich in loose peat and sandy mud (Williams 1958). Anderson (1966) reported that ideal nursery grounds for juvenile white shrimp are muddy bottom areas in waters with low to moderate salinity.Activity Time: Juvenile white shrimp are generally more active in daylight hours than juveniles of either pink or brown shrimp (Muncy 1984).
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