Cool Pets: Malaysian River Prawn

Yum

If you have ever been to a Thai restaurant and read the menu, you might have come across a dish containing river prawn. This prawn is known as the Malaysian river prawn, or Giant river prawn; scientific name: Macrobrachium rosenbergii.

Macrobrachium” refers to the extreme enlargement of the second pair of pereiopods (walking legs also used for gathering food).

Their life cycle is pretty interesting. Like some other shrimp species, including the Amano shrimp, the larvae require brackish water to survive. When they become juveniles, however, they move into freshwater to live the remainder of their life. This particular detail made it difficult to raise them in captivity as a food source until someone figured out the larvae need brackish water to survive. Now, they are raised in huge numbers as food.

I have recently acquired several juveniles, and although they may be “shrimpy” now, I’m excited to see how big they get! Here are some pictures of them for you enjoyment:

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For now, they are content to scavenge the leftovers from my fish and snack on a few crab wafers.

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These little guys are already pretty feisty, waving their enlarged pereiopods around just like my crayfish. I’ve read they get even more aggressive than crayfish…sweet!

I’m hoping that at least one of them will make it to the “blue claw” stage. So cool looking!

Stay tuned, as I will post more pictures as they continue to grow.

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