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Prawn vs. Lobster: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 10, 2023
Prawn and lobster differ mainly in species and size; prawns are smaller, shrimplike crustaceans, while lobsters are larger, with a distinct, elongated body and claws.

Key Differences

Prawns are typically smaller, with a more slender body and long, thin legs. They belong to the Dendrobranchiata suborder. Lobsters, in contrast, are larger, with a robust, elongated body and prominent claws, belonging to the Nephropidae family.
Prawns are found in fresh and saltwater globally, adapting to various environments. Lobsters primarily inhabit saltwater environments, particularly in rocky, coastal areas.
In cooking, prawns are often used in a variety of dishes due to their delicate flavor and texture. Lobsters, known for their rich, succulent meat, are considered a delicacy and often served whole.
The life cycle of prawns involves several stages of development, often including a planktonic phase. Lobsters, however, have a more direct development and can live for several decades.
Prawns are widely farmed and are a significant part of the global seafood industry. Lobsters, due to their premium status, have a high economic value, particularly in luxury seafood markets.

Comparison Chart


Smaller, with a slender body
Larger, with a robust body


Both fresh and saltwater
Primarily saltwater, coastal areas

Culinary Texture

Delicate and soft
Rich and succulent

Economic Value

High, widely farmed
Very high, considered a luxury item


Shorter, varies by species
Longer, can live for decades

Prawn and Lobster Definitions


A member of the Dendrobranchiata suborder.
We studied the anatomy of a prawn in biology class.


Belonging to the Nephropidae family.
Lobsters can live for decades, growing very large.


A popular seafood ingredient, known for its delicate flavor.
Prawn curry is my favorite dish.


A luxury seafood item, prized for its taste.
For our anniversary, we had lobster.


A small, slender, marine crustacean.
The chef added prawns to the seafood pasta.


Featured in high-end dishes and cuisines.
Lobster bisque is a rich, creamy soup.


A commonly caught species in commercial and recreational fishing.
He went prawn fishing over the weekend.


A valuable catch in commercial fishing.
Lobster fishing is a major industry in Maine.


A versatile ingredient in various cuisines.
Prawn dumplings are a staple in dim sum.


A large marine crustacean with a hard shell and claws.
We saw a lobster while scuba diving.


Any of various shrimps, especially one that is large or inhabits fresh water.


Any of several edible marine decapod crustaceans of the family Nephropidae, especially of the genus Homarus, having stalked eyes, long antennae, a pair of large pincers, and a cylindrical body.


The flesh of a prawn, used as food.


Any of several similar crustaceans, such as a spiny lobster.


How do prawns differ from shrimp?

Prawns and shrimp differ in gill structure and the way their bodies are segmented.

What are lobsters?

Lobsters are large marine crustaceans with a hard shell and claws, known for their meat.

Where do prawns live?

Prawns inhabit both freshwater and saltwater environments globally.

Where are lobsters found?

Lobsters are primarily found in saltwater, especially in rocky, coastal regions.

How are prawns farmed?

Prawns are farmed in controlled aquatic environments, often in ponds.

What is the lifespan of a lobster?

Lobsters can live for decades, with some reaching over 100 years.

What are prawns?

Prawns are small, slender crustaceans found in various aquatic environments.

Are prawns healthy to eat?

Yes, prawns are nutritious, low in fat, and high in protein.

How do you cook lobster?

Lobsters are often boiled or steamed and can be grilled or baked.

What's the largest type of lobster?

The American lobster is one of the largest, growing up to 24 inches in length.

What do prawns eat?

Prawns feed on plankton, algae, and small aquatic organisms.

Can prawns be kept as pets?

Some smaller species of prawns can be kept in home aquariums.

Can lobsters feel pain?

It's a subject of debate, but recent studies suggest they might sense pain.

How are lobsters caught?

Lobsters are typically caught using baited traps placed on the ocean floor.

What's the most expensive type of lobster?

The blue lobster is rare and can be quite expensive.

Are prawns affected by pollution?

Yes, prawns can be sensitive to water quality and are affected by pollution.

How do lobsters reproduce?

Female lobsters lay eggs, which are fertilized by the male and carried under her tail.

What's the difference in taste between prawns and lobsters?

Prawns have a lighter, more delicate flavor, while lobsters have a richer, more intense taste.

How do lobsters defend themselves?

Lobsters use their claws for defense and their hard shell provides protection.

Are prawns and lobsters related?

Yes, they both belong to the crustacean family but are in different suborders.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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