The Giant tiger prawn, Asian tiger shrimp or Penaeus monodon in scientific terms, is a large species that is normally found in the Sea of Japan; although sightings of this huge creature have been reported lately in different countries such as Brazil, and Mexico among others.
Most people can’t even imagine the Giant tiger prawn, since they have the image of a normal shrimp of three to five centimeters long; but this is a reality, which is slowly reaching many of the waters of the world.
Table Of Content
Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Malacostraca Order: Decapoda Family: Penaeidae Genus: Penaeus Scientific name: Penaeus monodon
Brief Review about Shrimps.
Among the generous number of creatures that live in all the world’s oceans, shrimps are the best known crustaceans of them; since they are found in all the waters of the planet, and are part of the food of most cultures of all countries.
These creatures that live at the bottom of the oceans play a vital role in maintaining the sea’s ecological balance.
Depending on the species of shrimp their physical characteristics may vary
However, the physical characteristics of decapod shrimps are extremely common in the more than two thousand different types of species that are known nowadays.
Their bodies are compressed from side to side, like that of the spiny lobster, and are divided into two parts; the thorax and the head which are connected by the cephalothorax and a narrow abdomen. The latter is protected by a hard cover known as a shell, which changes as they grow.
Shrimps are adapted for swimming, using their legs to move forward or moving quickly backward by flexing their abdomen and tail.
The gills that are stored under the outer shell, allow them to obtain oxygen from the surrounding waters. Both the face and the legs grow out of this hard shell.
Shrimps have a sharp beak or nose called a face that extends from the head, and is outside the shell. It serves as a protection against predators, and as a stabilizer when swimming forward or backward. And the shrimp’s mouth works in conjunction with its gills.
The Giant Tiger Prawn
The Giant tiger prawn has transverse bands on its body (not all prawns have them) -, it reaches 36 cm in length and can reach 650 grams in weight. It should be noted that females are commonly larger than males.
Another very interesting feature is its quite developed face, with dorsal and ventral teeth.
The coloration of the body is generally dark brown in the dorsal area, with white transverse bands, and reddish in the abdomen and in kelopeds and pleopods.
Where Does the Giant Tiger Prawn Inhabit ?
Penaeus monodon matures and reproduces only in tropical marine habitats and spends its larval, juvenile, adolescent and sub-adult stages in areas of estuaries, coastal lagoons or mangroves.
In nature, they show a marked nocturnal activity, burying themselves in the bottom substrate during the day and emerging at night to look for food as a benthic consumer.
Under natural conditions, the Giant Tiger Prawn is more a predator than an omnivorous or detritivorous scavenger like other shrimps.
After molting, the new shell is still soft which makes the shrimp vulnerable and can subsequently be eaten by their predators or companions. Adults are often found on mud-sandy or sandy bottoms 20-50 m deep in offshore waters.
How Does the Giant Tiger Prawn Reproduce?
Wild males have sperm since they reach around 35 g of body weight and females become gravid from 70 g. Mating occurs at night, just after shedding while the cuticle is still soft, and the sperm are subsequently held in a spermatophore (sac) inserted into the female’s closed tissue.
There are five stages in ovarian maturation; undeveloped, developing; almost mature; mature; and spawned.
The P. monodon females are highly fertile with gravid females producing 500,000 to 750,000 eggs. Spawning occurs at night and fertilization is external with females suddenly extruded sperm from the telephony as the eggs are laid in offshore waters.
Hatching occurs 12-15 hours after fertilization. The larvae, called nauplii, swim freely and look like tiny water spiders. This first stage in larval development does not feed but lives on its own vitelline reserves and quickly passes through six molts.
The next larval stages [protozoa, mysis and early postlarva (PL) respectively] remain planktonic for some time and are taken to the coast by tidal currents.
The protozoa, which have feathery appendages and elongated bodies, move three times and then metamorphose to the missis stage.
The mysiswhich have segmented bodies, eye peduncles and characteristic tails of the adult shrimp, also change three times before metamorphosing to PL with characteristics similar to the adult shrimp.
The PLs subsequently change their habits to feed on benthic detritus, polychaete worms and small crustaceans after the PL 6 stage. The juvenile and adolescent stages can tolerate salinity conditions as low as 1-2 ‰.
Uses of Giant Tiger Prwans
The Giant Tiger prawn is mainly used for food. It has a very important role in the economy of many south Asian countries.
It’s the second-most widely farmed prawn species in the world, after only whiteleg shrimp. Bamboo traps are traditionally used for harvesting selected large shrimp in extensive culture.
In semi-intensive system, the Giant Tiger prawn is harvested by draining the pond by tide through a bag net installed at the outlet sluice gate.
The shrimps are sold directly after harvesting, or kept in iced water.
The Shrimps farming has been practiced for more than a century, for food and the livelihood of coastal people in some Asian countries, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan Province of China, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Penaeus monodon was originally harvested along with other shrimp species from the traditional growth and trapping ponds or as a significant by product of the extensive shark ponds.
From 1970-1975, research on parenting was conducted; and monoculture techniques in small ponds were developed gradually at the Tungkang Marine Laboratory in Taiwan Province of China and partially at the IFREMER (Pacific Oceanological Center) in Tahiti in the South Pacific.
In Thailand, extensive and semi-intensive farms were commercially established in 1972 and 1974 respectively, after the first success in raising P. monodon at the Phuket Fisheries Station in 1972.
Between 1980 and 1987 there was an explosive boom of small intensive farms Scale in Taiwan Province of China due to commercial success in developing formulated diets, mainly to produce shrimp for export to Japan.
However, it’s believed that an outbreak of a viral disease caused the industry to collapse in Taiwan Province of China in 1987-1988.
This led Thailand, stimulated by extremely high prices in the Japanese market due to a shortage of supply, to replace Taiwan Province of China in 1988 as the world leader in the production of farm-raised P. monodon.
Later, the cultivation of this species spread throughout Southeast and South Asia, since it can grow to a large size (40-60 g) with high value and demand in the international market.
Locally adapted cultivation technology has allowed Thai growers to overcome serious disease, environmental and trade problems and maintain their status as a leading producer.
The introduction or importation of wild breeders is commonly practiced among the main producing countries because local supplies aren’t enough and domestication technology has not yet been commercially developed.
However, disease-free breeders are highly desirable and some countries require health certification of imported individuals.
Let’s watch this illustrative video
Giant Tiger Prawn’s Ceviche
Let’s learn an interesting recipe of this species
√ 8 tomatoes.
√ 6 Lemons,
√ 1 purple onion,
√ 1 pound of jumbo shrimp.
√ Coriander and mint or peppermint.
√ Soy Souce.
√Salt and pepper to taste.
√ Chop the tomatoes into small pieces
√ Chop the purple onion into small pieces
√ Chop the Coriander, Mint and Herb
√ Precook the giant prawn with water and a lemon and 2 pieces of Celery. Salt and pepper to taste.
√ Wait for shrimp to cool. Mix all and add a little of sweet sauce, that is soy Salt and pepper to taste.. Add Clamato and Lemon Juice.
let’s watch this illustrative video