Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda (Invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton (external skeleton), a segmented body, and jointed appendages). Includes the insects, arachnids, myriapods, and crustaceans.
Subphylum: Crustacea ( crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill and barnacles.)
Class: Malacostraca (Body plan comprises 20 body segments (rarely 21), and divided into a head, thorax, and abdomen). Crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill, woodlice, scuds (Amphipoda)mantis shrimp.
Order: Decapoda (“ten-footed”) crayfish, crabs, lobsters, prawns and shrimp
Family: Palinuridae (langouste or rock lobsters)

Genus/species: Panulirus interruptus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: One of the largest spiny lobster species. The exoskeleton is generally red to orange in color with black markings. Spiny projections are located on the carapace (upper shell) and sides of the abdomen. Their two primary antennae may equal the length of their body. Panulirus interruptus lacks the large pinching claws of their Maine lobster relatives. Average mass is 908 g (32.00 oz) ranging from 454 to 2270 g (16.00 to 80.00 oz). On average, they are 30 cm (11.81 in) long, though they can measure as large as 90 cm (35.43 in) in length.


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Monterey Bay, California to Baja California, Mexico. Found in rocky reefs in caves and rocky crevices. Maximum depth 240 feet.

DIET IN THE WILD: Nocturnal scavenging on sea urchins, small clams, mussels, algae and worms.

REPRODUCTION: Breed once a year during warmer months. Males attach sperm packets to females where she can produce up to 800,000 eggs which hatch into tiny young after 10 weeks. They reach legal size for harvest at 7-11 years of age.

LIFESPAN: In captivity 8 to 25 years.

PREDATORS: Giant Sea Bass, California Sheephead, cabezon, horn sharks, Leopard Sharks, octopus, sea otters and humans.

The photo below is a recent Moult ( shedding of the exoskeleton  typically to let the organism grow).

CA Spiny Lobster Molt15837588685_55717b70aa_k

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List and CITES No special status. California fish and game regulates taking of lobster which requires a sport fishing license. In 2003 over 270 metric tons were harvested.

REMARKS: For defense P. interruptus has sharp spines on the body, tail and antennae. It also can use its powerful flexing tail to flee predators.

Southern California Coastal Marine


Animal Diversity Web ADW, animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Panulirus_interru…

California department of fish and game nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=36321&inli…

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/15790212682/in/set-72157608602469734/

WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1pi

Phylum Arthropoda,  Subphylum Crustacea, Class Malacostraca, Order Decapoda, Family Stenopodidae

Stenopus sp.

DISTRIBUTION: tropical coral reefs worldwide

HABITAT: Male and female coral banded shrimp pair up when young, claim a territory, and never travel outside the small patch of reef they call home.

APPEARANCE: Strikingly colorful, they have a white body with contrasting red and white bands, bluish legs, slender pincers, and extremely long white antennae. Short spines cover the body and are used for defense. Males are smaller, more slender than females.

DIET: A cleaner shrimp, it removes dead tissue, algae and parasites from fish waving their long antennae to advertise their services. They are known to perform a dancing behavior, perched on a conspicuous spot near their home and whipping the antennae while swaying from side to side.  A fish ready for cleaning remains still in the water, allowing the shrimp to clean the scales and even enter the mouth and gills. They have been known to clean under the fingernails of divers’ hands!

REPRODUCTION: They are committed monogamists mating for life, a breeding strategy rare among most animal groups. Stenopus sp. defend their territory aggressively attacking and sometimes killing intruding shrimps. Mating occurs when the female is receptive. The male approaches her and transfers a packet of sperm to a specialized receptacle on her abdomen. With a few hours, the female begins to produce eggs, which are fertilized as released and then carried on her abdomen until they hatch into larvae, become part of the plankton, and eventually settle.

flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3067708530/in/set-72157608602469734/

 WORDPRESS SHORTLINK  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-pj

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