Macrobrachium equidens

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Wrote by Tipic, translated by Logow

Macrobrachium equidens
(Dana, 1852)

Macrobrachium equidens Synonyms :

  • Palaemon acanthosoma Nobili, 1899
  • Palaemon delagoae Stebbing, 1915
  • Palaemon equidens Dana, 1852
  • Palaemon nasutus Nobili, 1903
  • Palaemon sundaicus subsp. baramensis De Man, 1902
  • Palaemon sundaicus subsp. bataviana De Man, 1897
  • Palaemon sundaicus subsp. brachydactyla Nobili, 1899
  • Urocaridella borradailei Stebbing, 1923

Common names :

  • Bouquet chagrin
  • Rough River Prawn

See taxonomy

Origin : Asia, East Africa, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands. (inventoried in 1981 in Nigeria, introduction by marine water ways)

Carte Macrobrachium equidens

Water specifications :

  • pH : 7.5 to 8.5 (adding salt is recommended)
  • GH : 12 to 30
  • Temperature : 24 to 26°C / 75.2 to 78.8 °F

Size :

  • Male : 12 cm
  • Female : 9 cm

Rostre M equidens Description : Characteristic shape of the shrimps belonging to the Macrobrachium genus, long curved rostrum. It’s relatively massive, the spikes on the dorsal side are generally placed at regular distances - the combination is the following 9-13 (10-11) / 4-7 (5). The second pair of periopods is transformed is relatively massive and long claws. The adult specimens present a next to uniform brown red colouration on the claws, where as the walking legs have a beautiful striped red, black and white colour. A few hairs are present on the dactylus, the prodopodus and also the carpus Chélipède (See article on morphology). The body is transparent in juveniles and sub adulte, leaving internal organs visible. Mature specimens become marbled. The mature female photographed has a brown red telson and uropods reminding the colour of the claws and a slightly grey back ground colouration.Telson et uropodes The main colouration varies slightly from a specimen to another according to the observations made on this adult female, sometimes letting darker marks along the cephalotorax visible. We can easily notice the coma shaped dot, that is characteristic of this genus, on the top of the third segment of the abdomen. This dot is lemon yellow, underlined with a black line on the photographed specimen.

Macrobrachium equidens mâle subadulteBehaviour : This Macrobrachium presents an excellent behaviour, compared to its size, and can share the same habitat as small and agile fish without any problems. Of course the fish shouldn’t stay to close to the claws, needless to say that if they do they might become part of the menu. A tank with driftwood and rocks will suit this specie perfectly. A few plants can be added depending on the water specifications that are used. If you decide to maintain it in brackish water species will need to be adapted to these conditions as well (other animals also).

Life span : over 12 months.

Feeding habits : Omnivorous, in the wild this specie eats insect larva, plants or small animals in decompositions. In captivity, it doesn’t take long to accept usual fish food such as flakes or pellets. A quality frozen food is a necessary addition to their menu. (Mysis, krill, red mosquito larva will be highly sought after). This specie is extremely hasty during dinner times and doesn’t let any fish, even much bigger than itself impress it.

Sexual dismorphism : The male is slightly bigger than the female. However the specimen displayed on the picture isn’t completely mature yet, and is therefore smaller than the female. I was mistaken during the first observations until the female berried.

Femelle grainée Reproduction : The reproduction is indirect, the eggs are numerous and very small in size. The larva, after hatching become part the pelagic fauna and it’s only after 11 cycles of metamorphosis in salt water, that the larva evolve toward perfectly formed shrimps. After roughly 43 days these juvenile become benthic and go upstream into the lower river deltas. oeufs sous abdomen

Specificity : This shrimp is uncommon and rather rare in the aquarium trade, presents a very broad geographic repartition. It’s fished with other marine or brackish species and eaten locally. It can be found up until 30 meters deep. Macrobrachium equidens is more rarely found in fresh water.


We would like to thank Werner Klotz for having confirmed the identification of this specie and all the informations provided.

Links :

Sources (Scientific literature) :

  • Fao species identification sheets for fishery urposes Western Indian Ocean Fishing Area 51 - Vol.5 Shrimp & Prawn
  • The freshwater and terrestrial Decapod Crustacea of Pulau Tioman, Peninsular Malaysia - Darren C. J. Yeo, Yixiong Cai and Peter K. L. Ng - The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 1999 Supplement No. 6: 197-244
  • Occurence of the Indo-Pacific prawn Macrobrachium equidens in West Africa (Crustacea, Decapoda, Palaemonidae) Powell Rev. Hydrobio. trop. 19 (2) : 75-79 (1986).

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