updated Feb 2020
seen? These large prawns are commonly seen on many of our
shores, usually in sandy, silty areas and near seagrasses. They are
more active at night, during the day hiding in the sand.
Features: Generally about 5-8cm
long. Prawns of the Family Penaeidae have a well developed raised
portion along the centre of the heads extending between the eyes called
the rostrum. The rostrum usually has 'teeth' both on the upper side
(dorsal) and underside (ventral). The eyes are huge. Antennae very
long, often longer than the body. Walking legs 5 pairs, all well developed,
the first 3 pairs tipped with tiny claws. 5pairs of paddle-shaped
swimming limbs (pleopods) used to slowly swim with. A shrimp escapes
rapidly with quick contractions of its flexible and muscular abdomen
and broad fan-shaped tail.
Those of the genus Penaeus have large pointed 'teeth' on the
rostrum. These include the popular 'Tiger prawns' probably so-named
for the banded patterns on their bodies. But these prawns may also
be green or grey.
The Black tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) has a well-developed
rostrum armed with 7 or 8 upper (dorsal) teeth and 3 ventral teeth.
Depending on ground, what they eat and how murky the water is, body
colours vary from green, brown, red, grey, blue. With bands alternating
blue or black and yellow. Pleopods brown to blue pleopods with reddish
fringing hairs. Grows to 30cm and weighing 130g, females larger. It
is also called the Giant tiger prawn and Asian tiger prawn.
The Green tiger prawn (Penaeus semisulcatus) has a more or
less straight rostrum armed with 7 or 8 upper (dorsal) teeth and 3
ventral teeth. Antennae with white and red bands. Grows to 18-22cm
and weighing 130g, females larger.
Parapenaeopsis species are 12-17cm long prawns that live in
deeper water 10 to 90m.
Metapenaeopsis species lack obvious 'teeth' and can grow to 7-20cm
long. They may be found from the intertidal to deeper waters 4-90m.
Baby prawns: Young Black tiger
prawns live in mangroves and estuarine areas. Young Green tiger prawns
settle in seagrass meadows. Adults move to deeper waters 20-50m. Adults
mate and lay eggs in deeper waters.
Human uses: The larger prawns
are important commercially. Tiger prawns are widely aquacultured and
often raised unsustainably. More about the impact
of prawn farming.
Chek Jawa, Jul 05
other shrimps, it contracts its abdomen
to quickly swim backwards.
hide in the sand with only
the 'nose' and eyes sticking out.
Chek Jawa, Jul 03
prawns on Singapore shores
Penaeidae recorded for Singapore
from Wee Y.C. and
Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.
^from T. Upanoi. The penaid prawns of the Straits of Johor: Preliminary results.
*from Tan, Leo W. H. & Ng, Peter K. L., 1988, A Guide to Seashore
prawns awaiting identification
Species are difficult to positively identify without
close examination of small features. On this website, they are
grouped by external features for convenience of display.
Atypopenaeus stenodactylus (Periscope shrimp)
^Fenneropenaeus merguiensis=**Penaeus merguiensis
^Fenneropenaeus silasi=**Penaeus silasi
Metapenaeopsis barbata (Whiskered velvet shrimp)
Metapenaeopsis mogiensis (Mogi velvet shrimp)
Metapenaeus affinis (Jinga shrimp)
Metapenaeus brevicornis (Yellow shrimp)
Metapenaeus burkenroadi=**Metapenaeus moyebi (Moyebi shrimp)
Parapenaeopsis maxillipedo=**Kishinouyepenaeopsis maxillipedo (Torpedo shrimp)
Parapenaeopsis venusta (Adonis shrimp)=**Batepenaeopsis venusta
*Penaeus monodon (Black tiger prawn)
*Penaeus semisulcatus (Green tiger prawn)
- T. Upanoi. The penaid prawns of the Straits of Johor: Preliminary results. 10 July 2015. The Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey: Johor Straits International Workshop (2012) The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 2015 Supplement No. 31, Pp. 169-181.
- Wee Y.C.
and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.
National Council on the Environment. 163pp.
- Ng, P. K.
L. & Y. C. Wee, 1994. The
Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened Plants and Animals of Singapore.
The Nature Society (Singapore), Singapore. 343 pp.
- Ong, Jin
Eong & Gong, Wooi Khoon (eds.), 2001. The
Encyclopedia of Malaysia (Vol. 6): The Seas
Didier Millet, Malaysia. 144 pp.
- Jones Diana
S. and Gary J. Morgan, 2002. A Field Guide to Crustaceans of
Australian Waters. Reed New Holland. 224 pp.
Helmut, 2001. Crustacea
Guide of the World: Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean
IKAN-Unterwasserachiv, Frankfurt. 321 pp.
Terrence M., David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams. 1996. Coral
Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal life from Africa to Hawaii
exclusive of the vertebrates
Sea Challengers. 314pp.