Shrimp Industry

Giant Freshwater Prawn: Its Characteristics and Habitat

Kalyca Krisandini
Kalyca Krisandini
18 June 2024
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Cover - Udang Galah.webp

Giant freshwater prawn is a popular type of freshwater shrimp that can be found in shallow waters. This type of shrimp is one of the most prime fisheries commodities because of its high economic value.

The Latin name for giant freshwater prawn is Macrobrachium rosenbergii. As the element in its Latin name suggests, macro, this type of freshwater shrimp is larger than any other type of shrimp. Its body length can reach up to 30 cm with sweet and juicy flesh.

What about the characteristics, habitat, and cultivation potential of giant freshwater prawn? Read further below.

udang galah An image of giant freshwater prawn

Characteristics of Giant Freshwater Prawn

Giant freshwater prawns have quite striking physical features, in terms of their shells to their claws. This striking physical form is unique to this freshwater shrimp.

The following list summarizes the characteristics of giant freshwater prawns:

  • It is large in size
  • Its body shape is long and curved upwards
  • It has a firm shell in brown, blue, green, or yellow color
  • Its claws are longer than its legs
  • It has a cone-shaped head with a rostrum that widens at the tip
  • It has twelve saw-like teeth at the top of their mouth and eleven at the bottom

Male and female giant freshwater prawns have differences in the head, claws, and body. Male giant freshwater prawns have a longer body, larger claws on their second walking legs, and a larger head than female giant freshwater prawns. However, male giant freshwater prawns often have slimmer stomachs.

The Habitat of Giant Freshwater Prawn

Shallow freshwaters, such as rivers and coastal estuaries, are home to giant freshwater prawns. They are commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions, namely Southeast Asia, India, Sri Lanka, China, and Northern Australia. In Indonesia, giant freshwater prawns are also extensively cultivated in freshwater ponds.

Giant Freshwater Prawn Cultivation

Giant freshwater prawn can be cultivated in freshwater ponds, despite the fact that they are commonly found in rivers and coastal estuaries. There is a high demand for giant freshwater prawns cultivation due to the potential of a profitable selling price.

Giant freshwater prawn cultivation will be more optimal if carried out in the lowlands at an altitude of ±400 meters above seal level. Farmers can use tarpaulin or concrete ponds. The pond must have sufficient oxygen circulation, hence it is best to make it long. Farmers are also advised to install water filters to ensure the pond water quality is optimal for shrimp growth.

Although giant freshwater prawn cultivation seems easy and profitable, they grow quite slowly. Farmers need about 180 days to achieve a size with high economic value. It takes longer to grow this type of shrimp than the other, such as vannamei shrimp.

The Difference between Giant Freshwater Prawn and Vannamei Shrimp

Even though both are farmed shrimp, giant freshwater prawn and vannamei shrimp have several significant differences. The differences are found in the water where it is farmed, physical characteristics, and cultivation duration.

Type of water

Giant freshwater prawn is a type of shrimp that lives in freshwater, while vannamei shrimp is a type of brackish water shrimp.

Physical characteristics

Giant freshwater prawn is larger in size, with claws longer than its legs. Meanwhile, vannamei shrimp is smaller and has small white legs.

Giant freshwater prawn also comes in various colors, such as blue, green, brown, and yellow, while vannamei shrimp is only transparent greyish.

Cultivation duration

To achieve high economic value, giant freshwater prawns are cultivated for up to ±180 days or around 6 months. Meanwhile, vannamei shrimp can achieve high economic value after being cultivated for up to ±120 days or around 4 months.

Conclusion

Giant freshwater prawn is a type of freshwater shrimp with a large body size. This type of shrimp has striking physical characteristics, namely:

  • Its body shape is long and curved upwards
  • It has a firm shell in brown, blue, green, or yellow color
  • Its claws are longer than its legs
  • It has a cone-shaped head with a rostrum that widens at the tip
  • It has twelve saw-like teeth at the top of their mouth and eleven at the bottom

This type of shrimp lives in shallow waters, but it does not rule out the possibility of being cultivated in ponds like vannamei shrimp.

If you want to start shrimp farming, you can use JALA App, the shrimp farm management application from JALA. This application is #HeretoHelp you record, monitor, and understand your cultivation conditions thoroughly and conveniently.

Let’s start cultivating more optimally! Register yourself through app.jala.tech and download the mobile version of JALA App on Google Play Store or App Store.

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