PORT PHILLIP BAY


King Prawn 

Melicertus plebejus Hess, 1865

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Adrostral ridge almost reaching to posterior border of carapace; postrostral groove present; gastrofrontal ridge present; gastrofrontal groove divided into 3 at posterior end. Rostrum with accessory pair of ridges, with dorsal and ventral teeth. Telson without spines or with 3 pairs of moveable spines. Mandibular incisor short, almost right-angled. Body cream to yellow, uropods blue with red fringe.

Source: Poore, G.C.B. (2004) Marine decapod Crustacea of southern Australia. A guide to identification (with chapter on Stomatopoda by Shane Ahyong). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 574 pp.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Eucarida
Order:
Decapoda
Suborder:
Dendrobranchiata
Family:
Penaeidae
Genus:
Melicertus
Species:
plebejus

Other Names

  • Eastern King Prawn
  • Sand Prawn

General Description

Body transparent with a thin dark line from head to tail along the middle of the back. Up to 30 cm long (head to tail tip).

Biology

King Prawns start life in estuaries and move to open waters off the coast when older to breed.

Habitat

Sand and soft sediment areas, to depth of 220 m.

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Eastern Australian coast, including central and eastern Victoria.

Species Group

Prawns, shrimps, lobsters Prawns

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

30 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Commercial Species

Yes

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 2803

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Taylor, J.

Dr. Jo Taylor is the Sciences Collections Online Coordinator at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Poore, G.C.B.

Dr. Gary Poore is Principal Curator Emeritus at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Taylor, J. & Poore, G.C.B., 2011, King Prawn, Melicertus plebejus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Aug 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/4033

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