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Spot prawn

Spot prawn

On Exhibit

Animal Facts

  • Scientific Name

    Pandalus platyceros

  • Animal Type


  • Diet

    other shrimp, worms, sponges, small molluscs, fish carcasses, plankton

  • Size

    to 10.5 inches (27 cm)

  • Relatives

    shrimp, crabs, lobsters; Class: Crustacea

  • Habitat

    Reefs & Pilings

  • Range

    Alaska to Baja California; Sea of Japan to the Korean Strait

Natural History

The spot prawn is the largest shrimp in the U.S. West Coast. This shrimp has a big problem: it's one of the reef fishes' favorite foods. Though it hides 700 feet (213 meters) deep in rocky canyons, the prawn also falls prey to the commercial fishers of Monterey Bay.


Spot prawns are popular seafood. For decades, they've been caught in traps, which seems to have had little impact on their population. But as the demand for spot prawns grows, fishermen have begun large-scale harvests using trawl nets, which may both decrease their numbers and damage the habitat where they live.

Cool Facts

Spot sprawns change sex as they grow. They spend the first part of their lives as males, then change into females.

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