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What are prawns ?

Prawn is a common name for small aquatic crustaceans

with an exoskeleton and ten legs
Types of Prawn:
Prawn inhabits all sort of water i.e., sea-water, fresh-
water and estuaries of temperate and tropical
Their greatest quality lies in their adaptation to
changing factors like temperature, oxygen
concentration and salinity.
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Family: Penaeidae, Palaemonidae
Prawns must periodically shed their shell (a process called
moulting) so they can grow.
The shell is made of protein, calcium carbonate and chitin.
Before shedding, the prawn re-absorbs most of the protein
and chitin from the old shell as the new one forms underneath,
and increases water intake to create a space between the
body and the new shell.
The soft-shelled prawn emerges from the old shell through a
split between the carapace (the shell covering the body area)
and tail. The new shell hardens and the prawn grows into it.
When prawns mate, the female must be soft shelled (newly
moulted). The male inserts a sperm capsule (spermatophore)
into the female. This remains inside the female reproductive
organ until the prawn is ready to release her eggs (spawn) at
which time the eggs are fertilised.
Prawns eat
Vegetable matters
plant material,
decaying organic matter,
small shellfish, insects and worms
Algae and mosses

King prawns are sensitive to light so they bury themselves during the day and
feed actively at night.

Tiger prawns tend to be active day and night.

Different Species of Prawns in India
Penaeus indicus (Indian Prawn): Coastal, It grows up
to 20 Cms in length.
Penaeus monodon (the giant tiger prawn): Marine,
length of 30 cms and weighs up to 150 grams
Metapenaeus dobsoni (Yellow prawn).: Brackish
water, estuaries, dominant in back waters of Kerala,
size 11cm
Palaemon fluminicola : Brackish or fresh waters,
swim in Ganges upstream , 1127km
Macrobrachium carcinus: Freshwater , breed in
brackish water, size upto 30 cm
Macrobrachium rosenbergii

 About dozen species of fresh water prawns

 Atleast, three species, M.rosenbergii, M. malcolmsonii
& M. birmanium
 The largest prawn in the world – 300 mm in length;
400 g weight.
M. rosenbergii Taxonomy
M. rosenbergii is the largest natantian (swimming) prawn in
the world and belongs to the family
Palaemonidae (refer to Box 1). The adult prawn can easily be
identified from other species in the genus by the following
• Adult male has a pair of very long legs (chelipeds)
• The rostrum is long and bent in the middle with 11–13 dorsal
teeth and 8–10 ventral teeth
• The movable finger of the leg of the adult male is covered by a
dense mat of spongy fur
• Distinct black bands on the dorsal side at the junctions of the
abdominal segments
The body consists of the head (cephalothorax) and
tail (abdomen) and is divided into 20 segments.
Of these segments, 14 are in the head and covered
by a shield known as the carapace.
The front portion of the head has 6 segments, and
• stalked eyes
• first antennae
• second antennae
• mandible, used to grind food
• first maxillae, which transfer food into the mouth
• second maxillae
The rear portion of the head (thorax) has 8
segments, each of which has a pair of appendages:

• 3 sets of maxillipeds (function as mouthparts)

• 5 sets of legs (pereiopods)

Life cycle

There are four distinct phases in the prawn life cycle:

Egg, Larva (zoea), postlarva (PL) and adult.

 Nursery pond management
 Grow-out ponds
 Feed management
Nursery pond management
 Nursery tank
 Preparation of tank
 Stocking of post larvae
 Feed
 Water quality management
 Harvesting
Grow-out ponds
 Preparation
 Stocking of seed
 Water quality parameters
 Temp. : 18-34 0C
 DO : 5-8 ppm
 pH : 7-7.5
 Salinity : 6 ppt