Penaeus semisulcatus and Metapenaeus monoceros, harvested in January, April, July and October, were analysed for total carotenoid contents. During spring and summer, for both species, the carotenoid contents were considerably higher than in winter and autumn seasons p < 0.05. Mean carotenoid contents of P. semisulcatus and M. monoceros were 14.1 +/- 0.45 and 16.9 +/- 0.26 mg/kg, respectively. These values are quite high compared to other seafoods. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.