This term has several definitions:
- "Prawn" is most commonly used to describe a species of shellfish that is part of the lobster family. These prawns have minuscule (very small) claws and bodies shaped like tiny Maine lobsters. Their meat has a sweet delicate flavor. They are 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) long and have pale-red bodies deepening to dark-red tails. Included in this definition of "prawn" are Dublin bay prawn, Danish lobster, Italian scampi, langostino (Spanish), langoustine (French), Caribbean lobsterette, and Florida lobsterette.
- "Freshwater" prawns are prawns that migrate from saltwater to freshwater to spawn (lay eggs). They look like a cross between a shrimp and a lobster. Their abdomens are narrower and legs are longer than those of shrimp.
- The term "prawn" is also loosely used to describe any large shrimp, especially one that weighs at least one-fifteenth of a pound (0.45 kilograms).
Source: Herbst, Sharon T. The New Food Lover's Companion: Comprehensive Definitions of Over Food, Wine, and Culinary Terms, pp. 367-368.