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Video—The Sex Life of Prawns


In this remarkable, low-resolution, eight-minute video, which was shown at the Giant Prawn 2017 conference in Thailand (March 2017), you get to see four different mating combinations of male and female freshwater prawns (Macrobrachium rosenbergii):


1. A large, blue-claw male and a slightly smaller female.  Both animals stop all movement as the spermatophore is passed to the female.


2. An orange-claw male and a similar-sized female.


3. A very small male and a female about eight times his size (lots of giggles from the mostly male audience).


4. Several blue-claw males and one female.  The largest male wins the opportunity to mate.


Blue-claw males are large, dominant, territorial, aggressive and suppress the growth of other males.  Orange-claw males are smaller than blue-claw prawns, grow quickly, possess higher abdominal carcass weight, are not territorial and can be farmed at higher densities than blue-claw prawns.


Similar to white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei), during mating prawns don’t mate face-to-face, the male encircles the female in a perpendicular alignment to bring his petasma into proper alignment with the females thelycum.


Sources: 1. YouTube.  Video—Fresh Water Prawn Mating from AIT 2017.  Eng-Wagh Khoo.  April 30, 2017.  2. AQUA Culture AsiaPacific (Editor/Publisher, Zuridah Merican, email zuridah@aquaasiapac.com).  Genetic Improvement of the Giant Freshwater Prawn Based on SPF Populations.  Donghuo Jiang.  Volume 13, Number 1, Page 42, January/February 2017.  3. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, May 10, 2017.


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