Decapoda Crustacea


“Want some sea food, mama! Shrimpers and rice, that’s very nice!”
–Fats Waller, American blues singer

“I shall be but a shrimp of an author”
–English poet Thomas Gray in Sketch of his own Character, 1768

“A shrimp who sought his lady shrimp
Could catch no glimpse,
Not even a glimp.
At times translucence
Is rather a nuisance.”
–Ogden Nash (1962)

“So what’s the difference between shrimp and prawns? Mainly a linguistic one. A United Nation’s catalogue explains:

…in Great Britain the term “shrimp” is the more general of the two, and is the only term used for Crangonidae and most smaller species. “Prawn” is the more special of the two names, being used solely for Palaemondiae and larger forms, never for the very small ones.
In North America the name “prawn” is practically obsolete and is almost entirely replaced by the word “shrimp” (used for even the largest species, which may be called “jumbo shrimp”). If the word “prawn” is used at all in America it is attached to small species.”

Image: The Biology of Shrimps
© Museum Victoria Australia 1996