Palaemonidae | Prawns at last?



It is easer to look at examples of Decapoda as seen in lobsters, crabs and crayfish due to their size and more clear morphology. How do shrimp and prawns and prawns differ from those more obvious crustaceans?


Generally the antennae and and legs of the shrimp are both longer proportionally than in other Decapoda, and the exoskeleton is thinner and more transparent (to semitransparent). Compare the crayfish or lobster to the shrimp, for example. Although the exoskeleton is thin, both shrimp and prawns both molt their exoskeletons as they grow in size (as Arthropods).

Swimmerets (pleopods) are better suited to swimming behaviors, and pereiopods (walking legs) are less suited to walking. While pincers may exist on pereiopods (as in the lobster's chelipeds), typically they are not as exagerated as those of the lobster or many of the crabs. As lobsters do, shrimp and prawns both use the 'lobstering' tail flipping escape motion to escape predation. In shrimp and prawns like the jumbo prawns the swimmerets are well suited to forward swimming motions and lobstering is for rapid rearwards escape from threat.
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