© Johan Boshoff


Prawns (Dendrobranchiata)


Prawns measure 12 cm on average but can be as long as 30 cm.

Prawns Identification

Elongated body covered in hard outer shell. Long antennae. Claws on three pairs of legs (shrimp only have claws on two pairs and are smaller). Some species have a long rostrum (long sharp point, extending past the front of the head). Colouration varies and red, orange, yellow, black, white and pink colours occur. Patterns are used for camouflage.

General Info

Dendrobranchiata sub order consists of 7 families and 26 genera. Shrimps are also part of this sub order. The name means ‘tree gills’. Nocturnal feeders. Found on reefs or sandy areas. Pelagic spawners.


Feeds on detritus and algae.


Occurs in all temperate and tropical oceans of the world.

Common Species

Eastern king prawn - Penaeus plebejus
Plain shrimp - Palamoen adspersus
Night shrimp - Processa sp

© Johan Boshoff