Whopping Tiger Prawn from Australia Taken by Lifestyle Down Under Australia 2014
Below Illustrations by Jo Taylor
What is the difference? To most, the words “prawn” and “shrimp” mean something delicious and edible from the sea…with several legs and a hard shell.
PRAWNS…..IN SHORT….Australians think of prawns as large animals seen in the takeaway local fish and chips shop or on the menu at a restaurant.. But shrimps to them, they think of them smaller, like little pink things on top of pizzas or those tiny little translucent creatures swimming in the rock pools.
Both prawns and shrimps are crustaceans. They are like insects, which also have an exoskeleton, but many pair of legs
Australians call prawns, prawns as they belong to one decapod family Penaeidae. Adults grow to about 200 mm long (that is 7.78 inches)…Most of these prawns are sold n Australian food shops and caught by trawlers int he tropics. Like the Gulf of Carpentaria. These penaeids live close to the seafloor in shallow water, burrowing in the mud during the day and moving only at night when they can be caught by trawl nets.
There are about 70 species of prawns in Australia but only 10 are of economic significance. Popular are banana prawns, endeavour prawns, tiger prawns, king prawns, red spot prawns.
SHRIMP IN SHORT. Australian shrimps, are members of the Caridea, Most of these are not edible, or they are too small (rarely more than 40 mm long), Only edible shrimps seen in Australia are imported in cans from Asia. These Carideans produce eggs that are carried by the adult female, attached to the swimmerets under the tail.
TELLING SHRIMP AND PRAWNS APART.. The difference is penaeids and carideans, is the way the tail (abdomen) overlap. In the penaeids (prawns), the sides of all segments overlap the segment behind…like roof tiles. In the carideans (shrimps) the sides of the second segment overlap both the one before and the one after.
A SHRIMP IN THE USA IS A PRAWN IN AUSTRALIA! Did you know that in the Southern USA, in the Gulf of Mexico, there is a large fishery for penaeids(Prawns)… And the Americans call them SHRIMP!!! Paul Hogan, actor…. made the word familiar in Australia with his expression..Throw another shrimp on the barbie”!
Excepts taken from courtesy of http://museumvictoria.com.au