Brown Spiny Lobster – Panulirus echinatus
The Brown Spiny Lobster is a species of the order of the Decapoda and thus belongs to the Subphylum of the crustaceans. Panulirus echinatus was first described by Smith in 1869.
Description, Anatomy & Characteristics
The Brown Spiny Lobster has an elongated, very robust body. As its name suggests, it is predominantly brown. However, there are also other colours on their shells. Below the eyes and in the tail area, for example, one sees a shining blue. It also has white stripes on its legs and white spots all over its body and on its antennas. Orange tones are also present in numerous body parts.
Very striking for Panulirus echinatus is that they have no scissors, but two antennas as long as the body itself.
It is also known that females are often smaller than males of the same age.
The maximum size of the species is 40cm.
Habitat & Distribution
The Brown Spiny Lobster lives on rocky ground in depths down to 35m. Ideal for recreational divers.
When scuba diving on the Canary Islands, however, one can only rarely observe them. Their meat is popular in the kitchen and accordingly the species has already been extremely decimated in the Canary Islands.
Its general distribution area includes the outermost northeast of Brazil and the Central Atlantic Islands. These include, apart from the Canary Islands, the São Pedro and São Paulo Archipelago, Fernando de Noronha, Rocas Atoll, Trinidad, Cape Verde, Ascension and St. Helena.
Biology, Feeding & Reproduction
Panulirus echinatus is a nocturnal hunter, feeding on mussels, snails, crustaceans and algae. In addition, fish have been found in their stomach, although it is impossible to say whether it was hunted or from carrion. So you could say it is omnivore.
The females carry the fertilized eggs under their tails for several months until they hatch. On average this is about 56000 eggs per female. During this period they spend even more time in hiding and therefore consume less food. Little is known about the development of the larva. It is known, however, that at first it lives planktonic.