Species and Habitat Outlines


Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Crustacea
Order: Decapoda
Family: Pandalidae



Distribution: in rocky areas along B.C. coast.

Habitat: rocky substrate, crevices in rock faces or in lairs under boulders; adults remain deep by day (over 50 m) and move up to 18 m at night; planktonic larvae utilize 70-90 m depths but prefer bottom layer as they develop; late larvae and post-larvae may utilize 12-18 m water depths; remain in shallow water (54 m or less) in bays and inlets during first year due to abundant food supply; juveniles may occur on muddy bottoms.

Tidal elevation: intertidal to 487 m subtidal depth.

Food: carnivore; mysids, amphipods and polychaete worms.

Predators: octopus and yelloweye rockfish.


Prawn are potandrous hermaphrodites: spend the early part of their lives as males and the remainder as females; 100 mm after 1 yr, and 150 mm by second autumn; in spring of 4th yr change to females at 200 mm; 85 mm by second autumn; maximum size is 230 mm for males and 250 mm for females.



Valuable commercial and sport fisheries; 1986 commercial catch was 550 t valued at $3.7 million.


Boutillier, J.A. 1986. Shrimp, p. 58-64. In G.S.Jamieson and K. Francis [ed.] Invertebrate and marine plant fishery resources of British Columbia. Can. Spec. Publ. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 91.

Boutillier, J.A. 1986. Fishing effort standardization in the British Columbian prawn (Pandalus platyceros) trap fishery, p. 176-181. In G.S. Jamieson and N. Bourne [ed.] North Pacific workshop on stock assessment and management of invertebrates. Can. Spec. Publ. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 92.

Butler, T.H. 1964. Growth, reproduction, and distribution of pandalid shrimps in British Columbia. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 21: 1403-1452.

Butler, T.H. 1980. Shrimps of the Pacific coast of Canada. Can. Bull. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 202: 139-142.

Butler, T.H., and J. Boutillier. 1983. Selected shrimps of British Columbia. Underwater World, Fish. Oceans Can., Ottawa: 6 p.

Scrivener, J.C., and T.H. Butler. 1971. A bibliography of shrimps of the Family Pandalidae, emphasizing the economically important species of the genus Pandalus. Fish. Res. Board Can. Tech. Rep. 241: 42 p.


For more information on prawn habitat utilization and life cycles - click here

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