Spawning of Penaeus setiferus begins in March and April and continues throughout the summer months.  In this species of shrimp, spawning occurs offshore.  Spawning usually occurs when the females shell is hard and she is about to shed her exoskeleton.  In a single spawning up to one million eggs are released for fertilization.  During mating the male delivers a packet of sperm called a spermatophore to the posterior genital structure of the female.  The male structure that houses the spermatophores is called the Petasma, meaning 'spread out' in Greek.  The female structure is called the Thelycum, meaning 'female' in Greek.  The male trusts the Petasma into the thelycum, delivering the spermatophore to the thelycum.  The female then sheds her exoskeleton and begins the process all over again.  The fertilized eggs sink to the floor of the ocean where they develop and hatch 24 hours later.  Penaeus setiferus found at

     Female white shrimp tend to spawn in the open waters off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.  The eggs need high saline water to hatch.  The water needs to be around 3.5% saline for the eggs to hatch properly.  As larvae shrimp grow they migrate to estuaries with a very low salinity content.  It takes a full year for the larvae shrimp to reach full sexual maturity.  The shrimp then mate and die, completing their life cycle.  The females grow to be about twice the size of the males and occasionally live a second year after spawning.  Only shrimp that have the best nutrition will have happy and healthy babies.