American Oceans

The Biggest Shrimp Ever Recorded

Shrimp is a popular seafood that has been enjoyed by many for centuries. One of the most interesting things about shrimp is their size. While most shrimp are relatively small, some species can grow to be quite large. In fact, the biggest shrimp ever recorded was over 16 inches long!

person holding a massive prawn

The giant shrimp was caught off the coast of Florida in 1978. It weighed over 1 pound, which is significantly larger than the average shrimp. The species of shrimp that was caught is known as the tiger shrimp, which is native to the western Atlantic Ocean. While tiger shrimp can grow to be quite large, the one caught in 1978 is still considered to be a remarkable specimen.

Understanding Shrimp

a shrimp viewed from below

Shrimp are a type of crustacean, belonging to the order Decapoda. They are found in both saltwater and freshwater environments and are an important part of many aquatic ecosystems. Shrimp are closely related to prawns, and the terms are often used interchangeably, although there are some differences between the two.

Shrimp are typically small in size, with the largest species reaching lengths of around 30 centimeters. However, there are some species of shrimp that are considerably larger. For example, the giant tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) can reach lengths of up to 33 centimeters and is one of the largest species of shrimp in the world.

Shrimp are an important food source for many people around the world and are often used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, and salads. They are also an important commercial species, with many countries exporting large quantities of shrimp each year.

Shrimp are known for their distinctive appearance, with their long, slender bodies and multiple pairs of legs. They are also known for their ability to swim backwards, which is a unique adaptation that allows them to escape from predators.

World Record Shrimp

massive prawn in a market

Shrimps are known for their small size, but some species can grow to be quite large. The largest recorded shrimp ever caught was a giant tiger shrimp, also known as a king prawn (Penaeus monodon). This shrimp was caught by a Canadian fisherman off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1978. The shrimp measured an impressive 16 inches long and weighed 0.5 pounds.

The giant tiger shrimp is native to the Indo-Pacific region and is typically found in shallow coastal waters. It is known for its large size and distinctive striped pattern. While it is not common to find giant tiger shrimp in North American waters, they have been known to occasionally wander into the area.

While the Canadian fisherman’s catch was certainly record-breaking, it is not the only example of a giant tiger shrimp of this size. In fact, there have been reports of giant tiger shrimp measuring up to 18 inches in length. These shrimp are typically caught in the wild, but they are also farmed in some parts of the world for their meat.

Shrimp Species

a close up of a shrimp

Shrimp are a type of crustacean that come in a variety of species and sizes. Some of the biggest species of shrimp ever recorded include the Tiger Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, and Freshwater Prawn.

Tiger Shrimp

The Tiger Shrimp, also known as the Giant Tiger Prawn or Black Tiger Shrimp, is one of the largest species of shrimp in the world. It is native to the Indo-Pacific region, but is now farmed globally. The Tiger Shrimp can grow up to 33 cm in length and weigh up to 300 g. It has three sets of claws and is known for its distinctive stripes.

Mantis Shrimp

The Mantis Shrimp is not actually a shrimp, but a type of stomatopod. It is known for its powerful punch, which can break through aquarium glass. The Mantis Shrimp can grow up to 38 cm in length and weigh up to 1.8 kg. It has two sets of claws and is found in tropical and subtropical waters.

Freshwater Prawn

The Freshwater Prawn, also known as the Giant Freshwater Prawn or Giant River Prawn, is the largest species of freshwater prawn. It is native to Southeast Asia, but is now farmed globally. The Freshwater Prawn can grow up to 33 cm in length and weigh up to 600 g. It is also known as the Freshwater Scampi or Malaysian Prawn.

Other Species

Other large species of shrimp include the Freshwater Shrimp, Pink Shrimp, California Spot Prawn, Eastern King Prawn, Kuruma Prawn, White Leg Shrimp, Pacific White Shrimp, White Shrimp, and Northern Prawn. The Daytona Shrimp and King Prawn are also notable species. These shrimp vary in size and can be found in different regions around the world.

Geographical Distribution

school of shrimp swimming in the ocean

Shrimp are found in a variety of regions across the globe, ranging from tropical areas to colder waters. Here is a breakdown of the geographical distribution of the largest recorded shrimp:


Asia is home to a large number of shrimp species, including some of the largest ever recorded. The Philippines, in particular, is known for its shrimp industry, with many of the largest specimens caught in the region. Shrimp are also found in other Southeast Asian countries such as India and Thailand.


Shrimp are found throughout Australia, with some of the largest specimens caught in the northern and eastern regions. The eastern Australian king prawn, Penaeus plebejus Hess, is a notable species that is commonly caught in the area. The species is known to migrate during breeding season, with some individuals traveling as far as 30 days.

United States

Shrimp are caught in various regions of the United States, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. The Gulf of Mexico is known for its shrimp industry, with many of the largest specimens caught in the region. The brown shrimp, Farfantepenaeus aztecus, is a common species found in the Gulf of Mexico.

Other Regions

Shrimp are also found in other regions of the world, including Bermuda and the South Atlantic. While not as well-known for their shrimp industry, these areas are home to a variety of shrimp species, including some of the largest ever recorded.

Habitat and Behavior

a shrimp underwater in seaweed

The biggest shrimp ever recorded have been found in a variety of habitats, including both freshwater and saltwater environments. These shrimp are typically found in depths of up to 300 meters, although they have been known to venture deeper in search of food.

In terms of water temperature, the biggest shrimp tend to prefer warmer waters, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. They can be found in both muddy and vegetated areas, although they tend to prefer areas with more vegetation as this provides them with cover from predators.

The biggest shrimp have also been found in brackish water, which is a mixture of freshwater and saltwater. They are able to tolerate a wide range of salinity levels, although they tend to prefer waters with a salinity of around 30 parts per thousand.

In terms of behavior, the biggest shrimp are typically solitary creatures, although they may congregate in certain areas during mating season. They are known for their burrowing behavior, which allows them to hide from predators and also helps them to find food.

Diet and Predation

a shrimp underwater

The giant red shrimp Aristaeomorpha foliacea is a predator that feeds on a variety of prey, including cephalopods. According to a study published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, only medium and large shrimps are capable of catching and subduing larger cephalopods.

Grass shrimp, such as Palaemonetes pugio, are omnivorous and feed on a variety of food sources, including plant material, small invertebrates, and decaying matter. However, predation on large and mobile organisms by large grass shrimp probably occurs, as suggested by a study published in the Limnology and Oceanography journal.

In the northern Wadden Sea, gobies and brown shrimp have a diverse diet that includes plankton, zooplankton, finfish, and small invertebrates. Size-specific predation impact on shrimp was examined by the study, which found that more small shrimp are eaten than large shrimp and that predation pressure on shrimp is higher in the summer than in the winter.

Seagrass meadows provide a habitat for many species of shrimp, which are preyed upon by various predators, including fish and crabs. According to a study published in the Ecology journal, shrimp exhibit predator avoidance behavior, such as microhabitat selection and cryptic coloration. Small shrimp, which are more vulnerable to predation than large instars, show a strong avoidance of predators, whereas large instars exhibit less avoidance behavior.

Invasive species, such as the Chinese mitten crab, have been known to prey on shrimp and other small aquatic organisms. Worms and lobsters are also known predators of shrimp, as well as minnows and water boatmen. Seals and octopuses are also known to prey on shrimp, especially in areas where shrimp are abundant.

Physical Characteristics

a beautiful shrimp underwater

The biggest shrimp ever recorded have some impressive physical characteristics. These shrimp can grow up to 16 inches long and have a brownish-gray color with darker hues on their tail. They also have pink sides and stripes on their legs, which make them easily recognizable.

One of the most striking features of these shrimp is their large claws, which they use to catch their prey. These claws can be up to 4 inches long and are very powerful. In fact, some fishermen have reported that these shrimp can break fishing nets with their claws.

In terms of weight, the biggest shrimp ever recorded can weigh up to 1 pound. This is much larger than the average shrimp, which usually weighs around 0.1 ounces.

The scientific name for the biggest shrimp ever recorded is Pandalus platyceros. This species is found in the Pacific Ocean and is known for its large size and impressive claws. Despite their size, these shrimp are still hunted by fish and other predators.

Lifespan and Reproduction

a shrimp swimming underwater

Shrimps have a complex life cycle, and their lifespan varies depending on the species. According to a compilation of longevity data in decapod crustaceans, some planktonic shrimps are the longest-lived decapods, with a maximum lifespan of 6 years. On the other hand, most shrimps have a lifespan of around 2-3 years.

Shrimps are known for their high reproductive capacity, which contributes to the resiliency of shrimp stocks. Many penaeid shrimps have a complex life cycle that includes a planktonic larval stage, followed by a benthic juvenile and adult stage. The larvae are vulnerable to predation and environmental conditions, which can affect their survival rates. However, once they reach the juvenile stage, their survival rates increase, and they become more resilient.

The lifespan and reproduction of the biggest shrimp ever recorded are not well-documented. However, it is safe to assume that it had a longer lifespan than most shrimps due to its size. Large size at maturation and slow growth rate are characteristics of shrimp populations with extended longevity.

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