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Caprella linearis


males 2 centimeters
females 1.5 centimeters


transparent white




some fish, anemones and marine snails



  • Dut: Wandelend geraamte (hongerlijertje)
  • Lat: Caprella linearis, Idotea linearis
  • Eng: Ghost shrimp
  • Ger: Gespensterflohkrebs
Caprella linearis, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

Caprella linearis

The Caprella linearis is a shrimp-like animal with strange looks. Some call it the skeleton shrimp, and it definitely lives up to this name. Caprella use their long pincers to catch zooplankton. They fish this food out of the flowing water with a mowing motion, while hooked with their hind legs to a hard object or ground. Numerous amounts of Caprella can be found between bunches of red seaweed, sponges and hydroids.

  • Distribution and habitat
    Caprella linearis, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

    The Caprella linearis is found worldwide, from tidal regions to deeper waters.

  • Skeleton shrimp

    The Caprella linearis falls under the skeleton shrimp, of which there are more species found in the Netherlands. Its nickname in Dutch is 'starveling' because it is so skinny. Another species also has a strange name: 'consumptive'. There is even a species called the hairy consumptive. The various species of skeleton shrimp cannot be distinguished from one another with the naked eye.