Dendrobranchiata shrimp taxonomic composition and spatial and temporal distribution on the Amazon continental shelf (ACS) were investigated along a transect between the sources of the Amazon and Pará Rivers, encompassing an extension of ~250 km towards the continental slope. Plankton was collected with oblique trawls (200 μm mesh size), and nine taxa were found; 59.4% were larvae (mysis or decapodid stages) and 40.6% were juveniles or adults. Acetes was negatively related to chlorophyll-a and temperature, and Luciferidae were positively correlated with months. This study provides novel information on the density distribution of dendrobranchiate shrimps, thus helping to pave the way to characterize a large-scale, hugely relevant area that is poorly studied. As in other tropical coastal areas, there is here an increase in number of taxa with increased distance from the coast. Luciferidae, Solenoceridae and Penaeidae were the most frequent families whereas Sicyoniidae and Sergestidae had the lowest frequency of occurrence nearer the slope. Despite the low larval density of penaeid shrimps, their presence in all months and at all sampling sites along the ACS proves the importance of this area for shrimps with socioeconomic relevance, as well as its importance as a nursery and growth habitat for dendrobranchiate shrimps.