The complete mitochondrial DNA sequence was determined for the Australian giant crab Pseudocarcinns gigas (Crustacea: Decapoda: Menippidae) and the giant freshwater shrimp Macrobrachium rosenbergii (Crustacea: Decapoda: Palaemonidae). The Pse gigas and Mrosenbergii mitochondrial genomes are circular molecules, 15,515 and 15,772 bp in length, respectively, and have the same gene composition as found in other metazoans. The gene arrangement of M. rosenbergii corresponds with that of the presumed ancestral arthropod gene order, represented by Limulus polyphemus, except for the position of the tRNALeu(UUR) gene. The Pse. gigas gene arrangement corresponds exactly with that reported for another brachyuran, Portunus trituberculatus, and differs from the M. rosenbergii gene order by only the position of the tRNAHis gene. Given the relative positions of intergenic nonoding nucleotides, the "duplication/random loss" model appears to be the most plausible mechanism for the translocation of this gene. These data represent the first caridean and only the second brachyuran complete mtDNA sequences, and a source of information that will facilitate surveys of intraspecific variation within these commercially important decapod species.