Giant Tiger Prawn – Profile | Traits | Facts | Diet | Breeding

giant tiger prawn
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Giant Tiger Prawn, scientific name Penaeus monodon is naturally distributed in the Indo-Pacific, starting from the eastern coast of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, so far as Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean, and northern Australia.

It is an invasive species within the northern waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean off the southern US.

Giant Tiger Prawn profile

Giant Tiger Prawn is suited to inhabit a mess of locations. They primarily happen in Southeastern Asia however are extensively discovered.

Juvenile Giant Tiger Prawn is usually present in sandy estuaries and mangroves, and upon maturity, they transfer to deeper waters (0- 110 meters) and live on muddy or rocky bottoms.

The Giant Tiger Prawn has proven to be nocturnal within the wild, burrowing into the substrate in the course of the day popping out at night to feed. P. monodon sometimes feeds on detritus, polychaete worms, mollusks, and small crustaceans.

They feed on algae as properly. Due to their nutrient-rich diet, Giant Tiger Prawn is unable to eat phytoplankton due to their feeding appendages, however, they’re able to eat senescent phytoplankton. They additionally start mating at night and might produce around 800,000 eggs.

Giant tiger prawns have a typical prawn body plan together with a head, tail, 5 pairs of swimming legs (pleopods), and 5 pairs of strolling legs (pereopods), in addition to quite a few head appendages.

A carapace (exhausting exoskeleton) encloses the cephalothorax. Their heads have a rostrum (an extension of the carapace in front of the eyes) and 6 to eight dorsal teeth, in addition to two to 4 sigmoidally-shaped ventral teeth.

A posterior ridge referred to as the adrostral carina extends from the podium to the sting of the epigastric backbone, which reaches the posterior end of the carapace.

Their first three pairs of pereopods have claws and they’re distinguished from different shrimp species by the dearth of an exopod (an exterior branch) on their fifth pleopodia. The telson on the posterior end of the prawn is unarmed, with no spines.

Giant tiger prawns are recognized by distinct black and white stripes on their backs and tails; on their abdomens, these stripes alternate black/yellow or blue/yellow.

Base body shade varies from green, brown, red, gray, or blue. These prawns are very giant, reaching 330 mm or better in size (largest particular person discovered at 336 mm total size), and are sexually dimorphic, with females are bigger than males.

At sexual maturity, feminine carapace lengths range from 47-164 mm and their total lengths from 164-190 mm, whereas male carapace lengths fall between 37 and 71 mm, with total lengths of as much as 134 mm. On average, females weigh 200-320 g and males weigh 100-170 g.

Females have a sperm receptacle (thyelycum) positioned ventrally on the final thoracic section. After mating, sperm stay on this receptacle till eggs are launched.

Females have a pair of internally fused ovaries that stretch virtually the whole size of their bodies, from the cardiac area of the abdomen to the anterior portion of the telson.

Males have a copulatory organ (petasma, shaped by the longitudinally folded endopods of the first pair of pleopods. The presence of an appendix masculina (an oval flap on the second pleopod) can distinguish males from females.

Testes are unpigmented/translucent and are discovered dorsal to the hepatopancreas underneath the carapace. The vas deferens can also be inside and arises from the posterior margins of the principal axis of the testes. Sperm are launched via genital pores on the fifth pereopod.

Penaeus monodon, generally often called the enormous tiger prawn, Asian tiger shrimp, black tiger shrimp, and different names is a marine crustacean that’s extensively reared for meals.

giant tiger prawn

Geographic Range

Giant tiger prawns are native to the coasts of the Arabian peninsula and the Pacific and Indian Ocean coasts of Australia, Indonesia, south and southeast Asia, and South Africa.

Giant Tiger Prawn had been by accident launched to the United States off the coast of South Carolina in 1988, by an unexpected launch from an aquaculture heart.

They had spread as far south as Florida’s shoreline by 1990 and, since 2006, have been discovered within the Gulf of Mexico; they’re discovered alongside the coastlines of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.


Young large tiger prawns are mostly present in estuaries, lagoons, and mangroves; they’re very tolerant to a range of salinity ranges from 2-30 ppt.

Adults transfer into deeper waters and live on rocky or muddy bottoms, ranging in depth from 0-110 m (mostly at 20-50 m).

These shrimps could bury themselves within the substrate in the course of the day, rising to feed at night. They live in waters starting from 28-33°C and are unlikely to outlive in waters colder than 13°C.


Females can attain about 33 cm (13 in) long, but are sometimes 25–30 cm (10–12 in) long and weigh 200–320 g (7–11 oz); males are barely smaller at 20–25 cm (8–10 in) long and weighing 100–170 g (3.5–6.0 oz).

The carapace and stomach are transversely banded with alternating red and white. The antennae are grayish brown. Brown pereiopods and pleopods are present with fringing setae in red.


Giant tiger prawns are nocturnal feeders who usually burrow into the substrate in the course of the day. They transfer concerning the ocean flooring trying to find meals, which are picked up and manipulated by their pereopods and mouthparts. No printed information relating to their social behaviors is at the moment out there.

giant tiger prawn

Giant Tiger Prawn Communication

Giant tiger prawns have eyestalks on their heads which allow them to detect predators and get hold of prey. The eyes are referred to as ommatidia and are composed of clusters of photoreceptors.

Since large tiger prawns are nocturnal, they will need to have excellent vision at night to detect predators and prey, however may also see properly in daylight.

Eyestalks have the power to alter their optical properties based mostly on light-dark diversifications. In darkish light, eyestalks obtain light from a wide-angle and create a superposition picture, shaped by mirrors within the sides of the cornea as an alternative to lenses.

This superposition picture may be very efficient at detecting motion. In vivid light, eyestalks have the power to see virtually 360 degrees and type apposition photographs, a more efficient detector of light than superposition photographs.

Molting Inhibition Hormone (MIH), which controls the molting cycle, is produced within the eyestalks; recent research confirmed that when eyestalks are ablated, molting is accelerated.

Giant Tiger Prawn can also be identified that ablating eyestalks on this species induces ovulation and jeopardizes growth. Giant tiger prawns even have flagellae on their antennae, which detect predators and prey via vibrations.

These flagellae even have chemosensors, which detect amino acids and variations in pH, salinity, and meal stimulants.


The lifespan for wild and captive large tiger prawns is about 2 years, although it has been instructed that people launched into the Gulf of Mexico have a lifespan nearer to three years.

giant tiger prawn

Giant Tiger Prawn Aquaculture

Giant Tiger Prawn is the second-most extensively cultured prawn species on this planet, after solely white leg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. In 2009, 770,000 tonnes had been produced, with a total worth of US$3,650,000,000. P. monodon makes up almost fifty p.c of cultured shrimp alone.

The prawn is popular in culture due to its tolerance to salinity and really fast growth rate. However, they’re very susceptible to fungal, viral, and bacterial infections.

Diseases similar to white spot illness and yellowhead illness have led to a great economic influence in shrimp industries across the globe.

They can obtain transmitted ailments from different crustaceans such because the Australian red claw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus), which is vulnerable to yellowhead illness and has proven to transmit it to P. monodon in locations like Thailand.

Since black tiger shrimp are vulnerable to many ailments, this engenders economic constraints in direction of the black tiger shrimp meals business in Australia, which is farm-raised.

In order to confront such challenges, there are makes an attempt to selectively breed-specific pathogen-resistant strains of black tiger shrimp.

P. monodon has been farmed all through the world together with areas similar to West Africa, Hawaii, Tahiti, and England. For optimum growth, P. monodon is raised in waters between 28°C and 33°C.

Characteristically for the Penaeus genus, P. monodon has a natural means to outlive and develop in a large range of salinity, although the optimum salinity for the prawn is around 15-25 ppt.

While in a farm setting the shrimp are sometimes fed a compound diet that’s produced in dried pellets. By mixing the diet to have compound feeds and contemporary feed, Giant Tiger Prawn confirmed to have higher reproductive efficiency.

Giant Tiger Prawn Food Habits

In their first larval stage, large tiger prawns feed on their yolk reserves. Later larval levels filter feed on plankton, diatoms, and different small organisms within the water column before changing into benthic feeders with a diet composed of organisms similar to polycheate worms (Sabellaridae, Spionidae, Unicidae), in addition to detritus.

In the wild, adult large tiger prawns feed on mollusks (together with squid, blood clams (Arca sp.) and oysters), small crustaceans (together with isopods, crabs, and their eggs, and younger penaeid prawns, together with their very own species).

In aquaculture, these prawns feed on artificial diets consisting primarily of fishmeal; it has been famous that people develop more shortly when fed this diet.

giant tiger prawn

Giant Tiger Prawn Development

Eggs start improvement by slowly sinking to the underside of outer littoral areas. Giant tiger prawns develop via a complex life cycle starting with three larval levels.

Naupilii hatch twelve to fifteen hours after spawning is accomplished and appear to be tiny spiders. Larvae at this stage don’t feed, as an alternative to surviving on their yolks as they’re carried by tidal currents from the open ocean in direction of the shore.

Naupilii larvae move via six fast molts, growing their body size. Individuals within the next larval stage, referred to as protozoa, are recognized by elevated body size and size, the looks of feathery appendages, and, although nonetheless planktonic, starting to feed.

After molting three more occasions, protozoa proceed into the mysis larval stage. At this stage, they start to have traits of adult prawns together with segmented bodies, eyestalks, and tails.

Mysis larvae molt three more occasions, changing into postlarvae. At this level within the life cycle, they modify from planktonic to benthic feeding. This complete process takes two to a few weeks.

Giant Tiger Prawns proceed to molt via a juvenile part, lasting 1-6 months. Juveniles and adults are distinguished primarily by location and carapace size.

Carapace lengths of juveniles range from 2.2-11 mm and they’re discovered primarily in estuarine areas positioned on the mouth or center of bays and mangroves whereas adults are present in outer littoral areas of full salinity, and have carapace lengths starting from 37-81 mm.

Giant Tiger Prawn Reproduction

Giant tiger prawns are identified to mate previous to ovarian maturation; females store sperm in sacs inside their closed thelycum till eggs are absolutely mature.

Although little is thought relating to particular mating behaviors, it has been famous that this species mates nocturnally, in off-shore waters, shortly after females have molted and their carapaces are nonetheless comfortable (males sometimes nonetheless have exhausting carapaces throughout breeding).

Copulation begins with a male swimming parallel to a feminine. The male bends his body and the first pair of pleopods with the petasma (caught by the appendix masculina) stretched vertically down, to be able to facilitate the ahead swinging of the second pair of pleopods.

The first pair of pleopods pulls aside the petasmal halves, stopping the lack of sperm throughout copulation. The pair then takes an abdomen-to-abdomen place.

The feminine exerts strain on the male’s petasma utilizing her 4th pair of pereiopods and a spermatophore (sac of sperm) is thrust into her thyelycum, after which the pair separate.

A majority of adult people copulate more than as soon as; females are identified to spawn 4 occasions throughout their lives, at carapace lengths of fifty, 62, 66, and 72 mm.

It is tough to estimate age at sexual maturity, but males turn out to be mature upon reaching an average carapace size of 37 mm, females at 47 mm.

Females can produce 248,000-810,000 eggs at a time and are identified to spawn as many as 4 occasions throughout their lifespan.

Once eggs are mature, they’re expelled in a greenish-white cloud, together with saved spermatophores, into the ocean the place exterior fertilization happens. Eggs range in size from 0.27-0.31 mm.

giant tiger prawn

Ecosystem Roles

Giant tiger prawns are detritivores and customers of small invertebrates. They are also prey for many species of fishes and invertebrates.

Giant tiger prawns are a number for quite a lot of viruses, all of which are extraordinarily contagious inside populations and trigger high mortality charges.

The Yellowhead virus, initially remoted from this species, causes the hepatopancreas and cephalothorax to turn out to be discolored and swollen. WSSV (White Spot Syndrome Virus) causes white spot illness, signs of which embrace lesions and white deposits on the skin and connective tissue.

There are two varieties of Baculovirus infections generally seen in these prawns: Baculoviral Midgut Gland Necrosis, which impacts primarily larvae, and Monodon baculovirus illness, which is often adopted by secondary bacterial infections. These ailments are of specific concern in aquaculture environments and in areas the place this species has been launched.

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