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Asian Tiger Shrimp (Prawn)

Penaeus monodon


  • Grayish green, greenish blue or reddish brown color with distinctive black and yellow banding across back and tail
  • Carapace and base of tail smooth, with no grooves
  • Rostrum extends to or beyond the outer edge of the eyes with teeth on top and bottom
  • Decapod crustaceans with five pairs of legs; first three sets are walking legs with claws
  • Large swimmerets with light colored patch at base of each swimming leg

Similar Species

Florida’s native white shrimp Litopenaeus setiferus; pink shrimp Farfantepenaeus duorarum; brown shrimp Farfantepenaeus aztecus


Females typically 10 to 12 inches long; males slightly smaller at 8 to 10 inches long

Range and Habitat

Native to Indo-Pacific, Asian, and Australian waters, but are now found along the southeast and Gulf coasts of the United States from North Carolina to Texas. First observed in Florida waters off the coast of St. Augustine, 1988.

Prefer warm tropical waters. In their native range, larvae, juveniles and sub-adults occupy shallow coastal estuaries, lagoons, and mangrove areas. Sub-adults move offshore to breed, living on sand or muddy bottom in depths up to 340 feet.


Typically feed on detritus, polychaete worms, mollusks, small crustaceans and algae. 


Nocturnal animals that burrow during the day and come out at night to mate. Females can produce 50,000 to 1 million eggs per spawn.

Additional Information

A rapid growth rate and broad tolerance to salinity have contributed to the success of this species in aquaculture. They are the second most widely cultured prawn species in the world.

Scientists have not yet officially deemed the Asian tiger shrimp "established" in U.S. waters. There are many theories about where the shrimp came from and only a handful of juveniles reported. Therefore, it is hard for scientists to conclude whether they are breeding or simply being carried in by currents.

Help the FWC by submitting reports of nonnative species. This information helps to assess the distribution and abundance of nonnative species in Florida, detect the arrival of new exotic species, or identify range expansions by exotics that are already here. Please do not release non native species back into the wild.

Report sightings of nonnative species