Black Tiger Prawn

The Tiger Prawn is often confused with the Prawn Tiger, which is not a prawn but a tiger. It is displayed below to avoid confusion.

Penaeus monodon (common names include giant tiger prawn, jumbo tiger prawn, black tiger prawn, leader prawn, sugpo and grass prawn) is a marine crustacean that is widely reared for food. The natural distribution is Indo-West-Pacific, ranging from the eastern coast of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, as far as South-east Asia, and the Sea of Japan. They can also be found in eastern Australia, and a small number have colonised the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal. Further invasive populations have become established in Hawaii and the Atlantic coast of the United States of America (Florida, Georgia and South Carolina).

Both sexes reach approximately 36 centimetres (14 in) long, and females can weigh up to 650 grams (23 oz), making it the world’s largest species of prawn.

P. monodon is the most widely cultured prawn species in the world, although it is gradually losing ground to the whiteleg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. Over 900,000 tonnes are consumed annually, two-thirds of it coming from farming, chiefly in south-east Asia.

Vannamei Prawn

Whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei, formerly Penaeus vannamei), also known as Pacific white shrimp, is a variety of prawn of the eastern Pacific Ocean commonly caught or farmed for food.

Litopenaeus vannamei grows to a maximum length of 230 millimetres (9.1 in), with a carapace length of 90 mm (3.5 in). Adults live in the ocean, at depths of up to 72 metres (236 ft), while juveniles live inestuaries. The rostrum is moderately long, with 7–10 teeth on the dorsal side and 2–4 teeth on the ventral side.

Whiteleg shrimp are native to the eastern Pacific Ocean, from the Mexican state of Sonora as far south as northern Peru. It is restricted to areas where the water temperature remains above 20 °C (68 °F) throughout the year.