Asian tiger shrimp

Penaeus monodon

Family Penaeidae - penaeid shrimps

Body shrimp-like, carapace smooth; color grayish green, dark greenish blue, reddish brown in larger specimens, back with alternating dark and light transverse stripes, lighter stripes yellowish to reddish, legs greenish or reddish, sometimes with light and dark banding near body; 1st abdominal segment overlaps 2nd abdominal segment; rostrum with 6-8 teeth above and 3 below; rostral crest (ridge on both sides of rostrum) reaches to nearly posterior margin of carapace; no grooves on head next to rostrum, no dorsolateral grooves on the last abdominal segment; 1st 3 pair of walking legs chelate (with claws); telson (triangular terminal segment of the abdomen) with no spines; 5th pair of walking legs with no exopod (thread-like extension) at base.
Similar Species
Live and fresh dead are easily distinguished from other shrimp by its color, patterning and size (largest known penaeid shrimp).
Gulf and bay, soft bottoms
Maximum Size
35 cm (13 3/4 in)
Other Common Names
giant tiger prawn
Previous Scientific Names
The Asian tiger shrimp is an invasive species. It is native to the Indo-West Pacific, but it is showing up more and more in the Gulf of Mexico and Texas bays. It's a popular species in the shrimp aquaculture industry, and its appearances in the Gulf are probably from accidental aquaculture releases. The Asian tiger shrimp has the potential to compete with native shrimp for space and food. It preys on small shrimp and fishes and a variety of macroinvertebrates. It is also very susceptible to several deadly shrimp viruses and could possibly spread the diseases to native shrimp populations.