Freshwater shrimp are crustaceans with long abdomens and antennae in relation to overall body size. Attached to the abdomen are forked appendages called pleopods which are used for swimming. When inhabiting shallow waters they will walk and perch on the water bed and/or aquatic plants. You can often see them swimming on their sides with their abdomen curling in and out. Most species have a generalist diet. They are omnivorous, eating dead plant and animal material as well as algae. Freshwater shrimp are widespread and common across the UK in nearly all freshwater habitats with most species having a short life span in the wild of around 2 years.