How to Differentiate Between Crayfish, Prawn, and Shrimp

Crayfish, Prawn, and Shrimp | Crayfish VS Prawn VS Shrimp. Many questions arise as regards the confusion people find between Crayfish, Prawn, and Shrimp.

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How to Differentiate Between Crayfish, Prawn, and Shrimp
How to Differentiate Between Crayfish, Prawn, and Shrimp

This is because a variety of marine creatures, especially crustaceans, all look alike but are very different.

The main reason for this is the alike structure and almost the same body between the three.

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Crayfish, Prawn, and Shrimp belong to the same family and are crustaceans but have many variations including their production countries.

People favor one over the other when it comes to food because of differences in taste between them.

In America, both shrimps and prawns are called shrimps while prawns are called by the Brits and Australians.

This has confused so many people the more, as well as citizens of those countries.

Great confusion often arises when it comes to distinguishing between prawns, and shrimp.

In this article, I will try as much as possible to highlight what distinguishes these crustaceans – Crayfish, Prawn, and Shrimp.

In some cases, it is easy to spot, especially for crayfish.

What Is the Difference between Prawns, Shrimp & Crayfish? | Crayfish VS Prawn VS Shrimp

  • Definition

Shrimp: any small, long-tailed, mostly marine crustaceans of the decapod suborder Natania, some species of which are used as food.

The baboon is also called a prawn, but it is not the same animal. Shrimp have a lamellar gill, a side plate that covers the front and back parts and carries their eggs outside of their bodies beneath their tails.

While, Prawns have branching gills, side plates that overlap tile-like from front to back, and they carry their eggs inside their bodies near their tails.

Shrimp Features

  • Most are under 8 inches long.
  • Live in freshwater or saltwater.
  • Can be found on sandy or muddy bottoms.
  • The most common in the US are white, brown, or pink.
  • There are over 1,900 species.
  • Are a good source of protein, and are low in fat and calories.
  • Are high in cholesterol.

Crayfish, Prawn, and Shrimp – Differences between Prawns and Shrimps

This is where it can be confusing because prawns and shrimp look very similar. If you ask other people how they distinguish between the two, they will tell you that one is bigger than the other. This is in reality is wrong. They belong to the same family so they look very similar.

Body Structure/Shape of Shrimp VS Prawn

If you look at the body composition of these two, you will see the difference. Prawns have claws on three of their five pairs of legs while shrimp have claws on two of their five pairs of legs.

Moreover, you will see a marked bend on the shrimp as against the prawn, which has its bend in form of a curve. There are no marked or sharp bend on the prawn

What is Crayfish?

Crayfish is a water crustacean at night. It is somewhat similar to the smaller lobsters and is more common in rivers and streams. Crayfish are normally meatier and have a strong aroma in them. They are low in salt, sweet, and have little mineral flavor.

Crayfish have no pincers and have a feather-like gill. Their fossils can be found of about 30 million years. Crayfish fertilize their eggs in their body. They feed on plants and animals, either live or decaying

Crayfish are used as pets and are kept in freshwater aquariums and can do anything literally and are therefore omnivores. Being omnivores in nature, they can cause ecological damage when introduced to non-native water bodies.

What is Prawn?

Prawn is a common name used for small aquatic crustaceans.

After years of confusion and a lack of scientific data, Shrimp and Prawn are in interchangeably used these days. But, there is a big difference between Prawn and Shrimp.

The Exo or Outer bone feature of the Prawn does not permit it to bend at all so the prawns are almost straight.

Prawns have their claws on three pairs of legs and have the largest pincers present on the second pair of legs. Prawn release their fertilized eggs into the water that makes the eggs grow.

Speaking of taste, prawn has a slightly sweet taste that goes with it and it is seafood. People around the world love to eat it in a variety of dishes and versions.

The Indian prawn of the Fenneropenaeus is one of the world’s largest trading species. Prawns are found mainly in the Indo-west Pacific, India, South-eastern Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, northern Australia, and southern China.

Prawns and crayfish have a very different taste and prawns are smaller in size than Crayfish.

Crayfish VS Prawn VS Shrimp – Crayfish, Prawn, and Shrimp
  • Prawn VS Crayfish

The difference between prawns and Crayfish is that prawns are saltwater crustaceans and crayfish are freshwater crustaceans. Although they may look similar, if one does not look very close, they have tons of variation.

One significant difference can be seen in their reproductive process.

Second, crayfish are small freshwater shellfish with five pairs of legs; they look like little lobster, lobster-related, and very tasty.

While prawn is more like a shrimp, though it is more significant in size, is well-thought-out marine life, so it does not live in freshwater.

Crayfish have claws, and their flesh is less sweet than that of prawns. Furthermore, you don’t get as much meat from the crayfish. Prawns are closely related to shrimp.

Crayfish are also known as crawfish and crawdads. Prawns have more protein than crayfish, possibly because they are bigger and hold more meat.

The prawns are very natural to peel and eat, while the crawfish have a shell that is hard to break.

Crayfish VS Prawn VS Shrimp Bottom Line

All things considered, prawn is highly desirable because of its flavor, ease of peeling, and eating.



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