Females can reach approximately 33 centimetres (13 in) long, but are typically 25–30 cm (10–12 in) long and weight 200–320 grams (7–11 oz); males are slightly smaller at 20–25 cm (8–10 in) long and weighing 100–170 g (3.5–6.0 oz).
Penaeus monodon is the most widely cultured prawn species in the world, although it is gradually losing ground to the whiteleg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. In 2009, 770,000 tonnes was produced, with a total value of US$3,650,000,000.
Sustainable consumption 
In 2010, Greenpeace added Penaeus monodon to its seafood red list – "a list of fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries". The reasons given by Greenpeace were "destruction of vast areas of mangroves in several countries, over-fishing of juvenile shrimp from the wild to supply farms, and significant human rights abuses".
Penaeus monodon was first described by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1798. That name was overlooked for a long time, however, until 1949, when Lipke Holthuis clarified which species it referred to. Holthuis also showed that P. monodon had to be the type species of the genus Penaeus.
- "Species Fact Sheets: Penaeus monodon (Fabricius, 1798)". FAO Species Identification and Data Programme (SIDP). FAO. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
- L. B. Holthuis (1980). "Penaeus (Penaeus) monodon". Shrimps and Prawns of the World. An Annotated Catalogue of Species of Interest to Fisheries. FAO Species Catalogue 1. Food and Agriculture Organization. p. 50. ISBN 92-5-100896-5.
- "Giant shrimp raises big concern as it invades the Gulf". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
- "Giant cannibal shrimp more than a FOOT long invade waters off Gulf Coast". The Daily Mail. 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
- "Penaeus monodon (Fabricius, 1798)". Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. Food and Agriculture Organization. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
- "Greenpeace International Seafood Red list". Greenpeace. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- L. B. Holthuis (1949). "The identity of Penaeus monodon Fabr." (PDF). Proceedings of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akadademie van Wetenschappen 52 (9): 1051–1057.