Species and Habitat Outlines


Generalized life cycle of the prawn: Prawn are potandrous hermaphrodites, spending the early part of life cycle as males and the later part as females. Breeding occurs in the fall and is usually complete by the end of October. Females lay eggs which remain attached to abdominal appendages until hatching in March and April, usually between 70-90 m water depth. Free-swimming larvae or nauplii spend 2-3 months in plankton. Late and post-larvae remain in shallow water (less than 54 m) until winter months. Prawn reside in shallow water bays and inlets during first year because detritus from summer plankton and larger algae production supports amphipods and mysids which are preyed upon by young prawns. One year after hatching, at about 100 mm, prawns move to deeper (over 100 m) and by autumn males reach 150 mm. In fourth spring, at 200 mm, they change to females. Maximum life span is 5 years, but most live 4 years, and maximum length for males is 230 mm and 253 mm for females.

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