Why Is Shrimp Called “Cockroach Of The Sea”? Are They Related?

And as you may already know, shrimp kinda resemble the deep brown bugs that crawl through our homes. However, the intriguing question is: why is shrimp called “cockroach of the sea”? Is there a history there?

What leads to them being put in a similar category? Let’s look into it!

  • Shrimp and cockroaches have similar eating habits
  • Both creatures have similar behavioral characteristics and are cold-blooded
  • Both creatures are scavengers

As ugly as the label may be, there’s a logic behind this. We realize that it can be repelling to know that shrimp, a commonly liked and consumed seafood, is referred to as a cockroach, a creepy insect that causes inconvenience to our everyday life.

However, let’s get some insight into the reasons that support this label, shall we?

Why Is Shrimp Called “Cockroach Of The Sea”? Answered!

It is clear that shrimp and cockroaches have a similar appearance, but these two creatures also have numerous differences. We will be looking deeper into this unfortunate label while trying not to put you off from the idea of eating shrimp permanently.

Shrimp and cockroaches are related!

The truth is that there is an ancestral connection between these two creatures. The major difference between the two is that a cockroach is an insect while shrimp is a crustacean.

The truth is that there is an ancestral connection between these two creatures. The major difference between the two is that a cockroach is an insect while shrimp is a crustacean.

Both belong to the same phylum, Arthropoda, and have the same ancestors, which explains their closely linked labels. However, despite perhaps being distant cousins, these two have numerous differences between them.

You could say that shrimps could pose as the distant relative that has lived abroad their entire life and, therefore, has had entirely different experiences than the local cockroach who has remained true to its home country.

Are they from the same family?

Despite having similar ancestors, shrimp and cockroaches are, in fact, from different families. Both creatures have similar features in terms of their behavioral traits and physical appearance. However, there are many differentiating factors between the two.

Shrimp come from the Malacostraca family, while cockroaches pose as insects under the Hexapoda family.

Despite their similarities, their family tree does not match.

Their similar personality traits and behaviors make people perceive their family tree as interlinked. But that isn’t the case. 

Here’s How Cockroaches And Shrimp Got Morphed Into The Same Category!

1. They have a similar exoskeleton

As mentioned, shrimp and cockroaches have numerous similarities. For one, both have a strong and similar-looking exoskeleton that protects them from different injuries.

This hard bone structure also aids in defending themselves from dangerous predators who intend to hurt or kill them.

However, despite the commonality of a similar exoskeleton, both creatures exist among animals with ample bite force that can easily turn them into tiny pieces.

2. Cockroaches and shrimp are born with quite a few legs!

Many of you may have already noticed this factor largely appeals to their appearance. Shrimp and cockroaches have many legs, putting them in the same category. Moreover, their legs also have a similar-looking appearance individually.

These creatures have spiky legs, but it is important to note that despite their sharp appearance, they are completely harmless to humans. Their legs help them swim and walk while supporting their body and providing balance as they move. These creatures can lose their legs upon attack, making them an easy target.

3. They have rather long antennas!

Interestingly, most of the similarities appeal to their appearance. Another one of these similarities is their long antennas that have a striking resemblance to each other. Both creatures have scales antennas that help their senses detect signs of danger or attack.

Interestingly, these creatures can detect their surrounding temperature and food availability through these very useful antennas. You may have noticed that these creatures do not ram into objects while moving; the credit goes to their antennas.

Unfortunately, losing their antennas can also make these two creatures vulnerable to attack. Additionally, they will have difficulty traveling around because these antennas directly affect their senses and can help them detect the humidity within their surroundings.

4. They are both fast and adopt the same eating habits!

It’s no mystery that both cockroaches and shrimp are incredibly fast. Cockroaches are so fast in flying or running that they use this to their advantage while startling humans.

Additionally, shrimp are also incredibly fast swimmers. Both can use this to their advantage when escaping danger.

These two creatures also have incredibly similar eating habits, which contribute to shrimp being referred to as the cockroach of the sea. Shrimp munch on dead plants and animals, such as fish. The bottom line is that shrimp tend to munch away at dead beings that were once living organisms.

Cockroaches mimic that habit as this omnivorous species prefer to feed on dead plants and animals. They are also fans of human foods, such as meat, sweets, and biscuits.

These household insects are so well adapted to our world because they can eat pretty much anything they find. They aren’t particularly demanding regarding food.

5. Both are cold-blooded species

Shrimp and cockroaches have an additional similarity as they are both cold-blooded animals. All crustaceans are cold-blooded, and shrimp are crustaceans. However, despite being land insects, cockroaches are also cold-blooded.

However, interestingly, despite being cold-blooded, cockroaches do not survive well in cold climates. Therefore, they prefer to stay in relatively warm places, which is why you’d often see a cockroach crawling across your bedroom floor or bathroom in the warm season.

Conclusion: They’re Similar But Not The Same!

Both cockroaches and shrimp have numerous similarities regarding behavior, eating habits, and physical appearance. However, their differences are not a mystery either. They have specific differences such as different body segments, different number of legs, and the fact that one resides in the ocean while the other is a land insect.

Regardless, despite being cockroaches of the sea, shrimp are incredibly delicious and well-liked in numerous regions, and this label does not take away from that!