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Understanding the following characteristics and behaviors of giant freshwater shrimp for effective breeding

Ecological characteristics of crayfish
Ecological characteristics of crayfish

Crayfish has been and is increasingly attracting farmers because of its beneficial characteristics such as high economic value, stable income, low risk and suitable for many forms of combined husbandry. Let’s learn the following ecological habits and characteristics of giant freshwater shrimp to be able to breed effectively and with high productivity.

Distribution of crayfish

Crayfish distributed in the river
Crayfish distributed in the river

Freshwater crayfish are distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics worldwide.
There are currently over 100 species of giant freshwater prawns known, of which more than a quarter are found in the Americas.
They are found mostly in inland freshwater areas such as rivers, lakes, ditches, ponds, swamps, etc. as well as estuaries. Most species require brackish water for larval metamorphosis.

Many species are adapted to clear water, others are found in very cloudy conditions such as the giant freshwater prawn M. rosenbergii.
Some countries that do not have giant freshwater prawns distributed in the wild such as France, the US, and Taiwan have now moved to rearing in the wild. The crayfish is commonly found in the tropics and subtropics, but mainly in South and Southeast Asia, parts of the Atlantic Ocean, and some peninsulas in the Pacific Ocean.

Crayfish are distributed in many freshwater bodies (swams, ponds, rivers, canals, rice fields…) even in brackish water estuaries. Worldwide, shrimp are commonly distributed in the Indian Ocean and the Southwestern Pacific Ocean. In Vietnam, giant freshwater prawns are distributed mainly in the southern provinces, especially in freshwater areas and coastal estuaries in the Mekong Delta.

The habit of eating

Adult crayfish are omnivorous and benthic, using a variety of animals for food from mollusks, crustaceans to filamentous algae including organic decay, and shrimp also feed on pellets. Karma. Shrimps forage by tactile organs, using antennae to sweep horizontally and vertically in front of the direction of movement.

When finding food, they use the first thoracic paw to grab the food, bring the jaw foot and slowly bring it to the mouth.

Shrimp have upper and lower jaws made of chitin, so they can crush many hard foods such as krill…
In the process of foraging shrimp with high competition, the small individuals often stay away from the herd or when they find a piece of food, move to another place, while the large shrimp still occupy and chase the small shrimp.


Habitat of crayfish
Habitat of crayfish

pH: the most suitable pH level for giant freshwater shrimp is 6.5-8.5, beyond this range shrimp can live but grow poorly, pH below 5 shrimps are weak and die after 6 hours. When encountering an environment with low pH, shrimp will float, wash ashore, change color, gills and appendages become sore, swim slowly and then die.

Temperature: giant freshwater prawns are adapted to a wide temperature range from 18-34oC, the best temperature is 26-31oC, outside this temperature range shrimp will grow slowly or have difficulty molting.

Dissolved oxygen: the environment must have dissolved oxygen > 3 mg/l, below this level, shrimps are weakly active, concentrated on the shoreline, floating their heads and dying after a few hours. If the oxygen content exceeds the saturation level, it also harms the shrimp, especially the respiratory process (containing a lot of gas in the circulatory system, obstructing blood circulation).

Light: Shrimp prefer moderate light, the most suitable intensity is 400 lux. High light will limit the activity of shrimp, so during the day when there is high light, shrimp go to the bottom of the water body to hide, at night, they actively hunt for prey. Shrimp do not like high-intensity light but are phototropic at night, when there is light, shrimp will focus, and large shrimp have less phototropic than small shrimp.

Salinity: Shrimp is suitable for salt concentration from 0-16%o, adult shrimp grow well in coastal estuaries.


Distinguish male and female giant freshwater prawns
Distinguish male and female giant freshwater prawns

Male and female shrimp can be distinguished easily by their appearance and appearance.

Male shrimp have larger size, larger cephalothorax and narrower abdominal cavity than female shrimp.

The second pair of claws is large, long, and coarse.

In males, a male accessory branch grows next to the medial branch of the second ventral leg.
The male sub-branch appears in the juvenile stage when the shrimp reaches 30mm and is complete when the shrimp reach 70mm. In addition, there is a hard spot in the middle of the ventral surface of the first abdominal segment.

Female shrimp are usually smaller in size than male shrimp, with a small cephalothorax and slender claws. Shrimp have 3 first abdominal panels, wide and long, forming a wide abdominal cavity as an incubation chamber.

The male reproductive system consists of a pair of testes, a pair of vas deferens and a tip. The pair of zigzag spermatozoa located in the middle of the cephalothorax connects to the vas deferens extending from the anterior to the longitudinal to the posterior border of the cephalothorax and empties into the terminal located at the coxa segment of the 5th thoracic foot.

See more: The secret to stimulating shrimp molting, do you know?

Emilia Chaney
Emilia Chaney
My name is Emilia Chaney. I'm a social girl from Romania with a big smile and 3 passions: Agriculture, Travel and Social Media. I try to make this blog practical, full of great advice and inspiring ideas.

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