The complete sequence of the mitochondrial genome of the giant tiger prawn, Penaeus monodon (Arthropoda, Crustacea, Malacostraca), is presented. The gene content and gene order are identical to those observed in Drosophila yakuba. The overall AT composition is lower than that observed in the known insect mitochondrial genomes, but higher than that observed in the other two crustaceans for which complete mitochondrial sequence is available. Analysis of the effect of nucleotide bias on codon composition across the Arthropoda reveals a trend with the crustaceans represented showing the lowest proportion of AT-rich codons in mitochondrial protein genes. Phylogenetic analysis among arthropods using concatenated protein-coding sequences provides further support for the possibility that Crustacea are paraphyletic. Furthermore, in contrast to data from the nuclear gene EF1alpha, the first complete sequence of a malacostracan mitochondrial genome supports the possibility that Malacostraca are more closely related to Insecta than to Branchiopoda.