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Difference between Shrimp and Prawn

Shrimp and prawns make look similar from the outside as both are Decapod Crustaceans. It means any animal which has ten hands or, we can say, ten legs. Also, both shrimp and prawns have an external skeleton and both belong to the category of seafood. Although they have lots of similarities, they are not similar and are different species. Let us see how they differ from each other.

Shrimp vs Prawn


Shrimp are found in saltwater and are small in size. They are costlier seafood. After boiling, the body of the shrimp is curled. The shrimp shell segments overlap the first and third segments and they have white muscles.

Reasons for white muscles in shrimp:

  • High temperature: Muscles become white if the temperature is more than or equal to 35 degrees.
  • Low dissolved oxygen: If there is low dissolved oxygen in water then after 2-3 days, white muscles can be seen are in the shrimp.
  • Vibriosis: In the case of RMS (running mortality syndrome), some percentage of white muscles are fond. The non-luminescent VH strain also causes the white muscles in shrimp.
  • Gills problem: The primary function of gills is to transfer oxygen from dissolve water. If gills are affected, due to less oxygen transfer, the white muscles are found. The common types of gill problems are black gill, brown gill, red gill, white gill, green gill.
  • Body cramp: The region which has high temperature may cause body cramp, which may lead to the development of white muscles.
  • Mineral deficiency: Some minerals like potassium and magnesium when present in less amount may cause white muscles in shrimp.
  • WSSV: The white spot syndrome virus affects several body parts, including the gill. If gills are affected, there may be less transfer of oxygen to a part of the body, which may become white.
  • IMNV: The Infectious Mayo necrotic viruses also cause white muscles in shrimps. Some other viruses like PUNV and microsporidian also become the reason for the white muscles.

Varieties Of shrimp:

  1. Pink shrimp: It gets the name pink shrimp because the color of the shell is pink. The pink shrimp are found in the cold water of the Pacific Northwest into Alaska around the cold water of japan on the Atlantic side, and it is northern Atlantic. Also, it can be found deep in the south around South America. Pink shrimp have a wonderful sweet flavor.
  2. Rock Shrimp: Rock shrimp are typically found in warmer water, and they get their name rock shell because the shell of these shrimps is very hard, like a rock. They taste like lobster or have a very intense sweet flavor. They are very small in size.
  3. Tiger shrimps: They are big in size. They get this name as they have black stripes on their shells. Tiger prawns are found in warmer water. They are found on the coast of Nigeria. When cooked, they lose the black color of strips and become pink like regular shrimps.
  4. White shrimps: White shrimp are found in the Atlantic and New York. White shrimps have a Variety of sizes. The flavor of these white shrimps is a sweet, mild flavor. After cooked, its color becomes light pale pink.


Prawns are found in freshwater and are large in size. People also do the farming of prawns. After boiling, the body of the prawn remains straight. Prawns shell segments overlap in ascending order like first over second, second over third, and so on. This arraignment gives them a straight body.

Varieties of prawns:

  1. Jumbo Prawns: These prawns are giant in size. The weight of one jumbo prawn is up to 200 grams.
  2. Sea Tiger prawns: These prawns get their name because they have light yellow color and brown strips over them. The weight of one prawn is up to 30 to 40 grams.
  3. Tiger prawns: The color of tiger prawns is different from the sea tiger prawns. Tiger prawns have white color and black strip over them.
  4. White prawns: They are white in color and somewhat look like white jelly. They are small in size.

Difference between shrimps and prawns

Shrimps Prawns
Shrimps are found in saltwater Prawns are found in freshwater
Shrimp are costlier. Cost is less than shrimps
Smaller than prawns in size. Larger in size than shrimps.
They have claws on two of their legs. They have claws on three of their legs.
Their body has curled shape or half-rounded shapes. They have a straight body.
Shrimp carry their fertilized eggs with them with their bodies. Prawns release their eggs into the water.
The harvest time or period is 4-5 months. The harvest time or period is 6-8 months.
The salinity range of water is between 10-25 ppt. The salinity range of water is less than ten ppt.
It prefers a temperature between 26 to 32 degrees centigrade. It prefers a temperature between 28 to 31 degrees centigrade.
The transparency of water should be 35 cm. The transparency of water should be between 25-40 cm.

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