Species: P. interrupus
The California spiny lobster is a spiny
lobster , one of several groups of reptant decapods.
They may be found from the southern tip of the Baja California
Peninsula to Monterey Bay, Californa. They are generally
found at very shallow depths near the coastline or near
offshore islands. They migrate in order to mate and to
give birth to their young. During the spring, California
spiny lobster travel to shallow waters and then move to
deeper waters in the fall. In December, they often move
offshore to waters as deep as 110 feet. By late January,
the lobsters generally move back up to depths between
15 and 45 feet of water.
They are generally nocturnal; during the daytime, these
spiny lobsters can be found in small holes and cracks,
or hidden in grass with other lobsters, but at night,
they tend to hunt singly. Spiny lobsters are scavengers
that mainly eat sessile or slow-moving animals, such as
snails, sea urchins, clams, sponges, kelp, worms, mussels,
scallops, barnacles, and fish. They are a vital part of
the California coast habitat because they keep the purple
and red sea urchin population under control. The jaws
of the California spiny lobster are extremely strong,
and they are capable of crushing shells and bones of other
One of the most noticeable features of the spiny lobster
is the two large antennae. The antennae are longer than
the body, and they are used to sense any movement in front
of them. Spiny lobsters also have smaller antennae called
antennules, which are used to sense food and predators.
Predators of the California spiny lobster include giant
sea bass, kelp bass, California sheephead, California
scorpionfish, rockfishes, octopus, Californai moray eels,
sea otters, cabezon, horn sharks, leopard sharks, other
lobsters, and humans.
Although they lack the large chelae of true lobsters,
one protection that these spiny lobsters have is the abundance
of spines on their backs. The two largest spines located
over their eyes are known colloquially as the horns. In
the event of danger, the tail fan is used to propel the
animal backwards (the "caridoid escape reaction").
Mating takes places 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 eggs hatch into Phyllosoma larvae, which look quite
unlike the adult, and are free-floating creatures with
very little mobility or defence. After about six to nine
months, when the larva has molted 12 times, it will reach
the puerulus (from the Latin meaning child) stage. This
looks like a small lobster with very large antennae. The
puerulus moves very close to shore where it molts into
a juvenile spiny lobster.
to Boil Lobster
to Eat Lobster
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It uses material from the Wikipedia
article "California Spiny Lobster".