Monkey River Prawn (Kamaron)Macrobrachium lar

  • Rivers
  • Crustaceans
  • Shrimp


Macrobrachium lar is a native species of freshwater prawn locally known as Kamaron. It is found throughout the Indo-West Pacific area from the Marquesas Islands to East Africa. Members of the genus are shrimp or prawns characterized by the extreme enlargement of the second pair of pereiopods - the legs of the animal. The species also exhibits sexual dimorphism with males being larger than females. In a study on the reproductive biology of these prawns, the length of the males varied between 82 and 128 millimeters while females reached a maximum size of 123 mm. The species has dark red-violet scales and long pincers.

Habitat and ecology

Macrobrachium lar is found in permanently flowing rivers and creeks and can sometimes be found in upland headwaters. They are said to prefer deep, shaded pools and sheltered parts of the stream. The female prawns can lay up to approximately 8,000 eggs. After hatching the M. lar larvae will migrate to the ocean before coming back to freshwater environments. The species feeds on algae, plant matter, fish and snails.


Conservation and management

Due to its very wide distribution throughout the Indo-Pacific, and in the absence of any known major threats the species is considered to be of Least Concern. Locally in Mauritius and wherever it is found it is of economic importance and is fished for sale or subsistence.


Did you know?

Macrobrachium means long or large arms.