Pygmy Locust Lobster – Scyllarus pygmaeus
The Pygmy Locust Lobster is a species in the order of the Decapoda and thus belongs to the subphylum of the Crustacea. Scyllarus pygmaeus looks very similar to the juvenile Scyllarus arctus (Small European Locust Lobster), which is why it is often confused with it. That is why it was thought for a long time, that it does not occur in the Mediterranean Sea.
The juvenile form was first described in 1885. In 1888 the description of the adult animal followed by the Challenger Expedition.
The Pygmy Locust Lobster has the typical appearance of a Slipper Lobster. The body appears very massive and has a pink colour with lighter and darker marbling.
Its antennas are formed into plates. Between these plates are two orange sensors.
Scyllarus pygmaeus is the smallest species of Slipper Lobster. The total body length can be up to 55mm, but often remains below 40mm.
Habitat and Distribution
The Pygmy Locust Lobster lives on sandy and coral-like ground and in sea grass meadows, from 5 to 100m depth.
If you have a good eye and a weakness for night dives, you can observe it quite often while diving in the Canaries. Usually I discovered it because of its shining eyes.
Scyllarus pygmaeus is also spread over the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Portuguese coast and eastern Atlantic islands, such as the Azores, Madeira and the Cape Verde Islands.
Scyllarus pygmaeus is a nocturnal and benthic species.
Female carry the eggs from June to August.