Spiny Lobster 7681133220 O
26Identifcation number on The Map®

Spiny Lobster

Panulirus interruptus

Spiny LobsterDavid R. Andrew ~ the-world-underwater.com

Description

  • This distinctive, large crustacean has very long antennae covered with small sharp spines
  • It lacks the large claws of the Atlantic lobster
  • The front of the body, especially around the eyes, is covered with sharp spines
  • Length to 3 feet, and 150 years old

Range

  • San Luis Obispo County, California to Rosalia Bay, Baja California

Habitat

  • It hides in crevices during the daytime, forages on reef and sand bottom at night

Diet

  • While lobsters will eat almost anything, their favorite diet consists mostly of snails, clams, crabs, and urchins

Interesting Facts

  • Mating takes place between January and April, with the ventral sides of the male and female animal against each other, during which a sperm packet is transferred from the male to the female
  • When the female spiny lobster is ready, she will scratch open the sperm packet with specialized claws while simultaneously releasing her eggs
  • Once the sperm have fertilized the eggs, they will stick to the pleopods (swimmerets) and stay there until hatched
  • A newly matured female will produce about 100,000 eggs while an older and larger female will make nearly 1,000,000
  • When the female spiny lobster is ready to release the fertilized eggs she goes to shallower, warmer water, usually in May or June
  • The eggs are bright red when first fertilized, but become dark brown after about ten weeks
  • The lobsters return to the safety of their dens several hours before sunrise