Panulirus penicillatus   (Olivier,  1791) (Spiny Lobster)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Malacostraca

Image copyrights: Keoki Stender

Size: Maximum body length 40 cm; average body length about 30 cm.

Color: Ground color ranging from yellow-green through brown-green to blue-black or dark reddish brown, with many cream spots on upper surface of carapace, and many tiny pale spots on abdomen; antennular flagella uniform green or brown; legs with fine or broader longitudinal white to yellow stripes. Males are usually darker than females in any one area.

Carapace rounded, covered with numerous spines and nodules of varying size. Flagella of antennules longer than antennular peduncle, rostrum absent; bases of antennae separated by a broad antennular plate bearing 2 pairs of almost equal principal spines joined at their bases, their tips diverging. Each abdominal segment with a transverse groove not joining the pleural groove. Anterior legs 1 to 4 without pincers.

Nocturnal in its habits, living singly or in pairs.

Synonym (s)
Astacus penicillatus Olivier, 1791

Common Name (s)
• Pronghorn Spiny Lobster (English)
• Coral Cray (English)
• Double Spined Rock Lobster (English)
• Golden Rock Lobster (English)
• Red Lobster (English)
• Spiny Lobster (English)
• Tufted Spiny Lobster (English)
• Variegated Crayfish (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Used for local consumption or marketed fresh, cooked or as frozen lobster tails. )

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Demersal, Coastal


• Karnataka, Netrani Island (Lat: 14) (Long: 74.32) INDIA (Record: 05/2006) (Depth: 12-15 mts)
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA (Record: 1977-1979)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair INDIA (Record: 01/1978-04/1978)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Car Nicobar, Malacca Bay INDIA (Record: 01/1978-04/1978)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Car Nicobar, Sawai Bay INDIA (Record: 01/1978-04/1978)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Campbell Bay INDIA (Record: 01/1978-04/1978)
• Karnataka INDIA (Record: 2001-2007)
• Lakshadweep Islands (Lat: 11.68) (Long: 73.68) INDIA (Record: 01/1987-03/1987)
• Lakshadweep Islands (Lat: 8.28) (Long: 72.16) INDIA (Record: 01/1987-03/1987)

Literature Source(s)
  • Zacharia, PU; Krishnakumar, PK; Dineshbabu, AP; Vijayakumaran, K; Rohit, P; Thomas, S; Sasikumar, G; Kaladharan, P; Durgekar, RN and Mohamed, KS (2008) Species assemblage in the coral reef ecosystem of Netrani Island off Karnataka along the southwest coast of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin, India 50(1) 87-97 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Stender, GK and Stender, YO Available at -
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 5 Available at -
  • George, KC; Thomas, PA; Appukuttan, KK and Gopakumar, G (1986) Ancillary living marine resources of Lakshadweep Marine Fisheries Information Service CMFRI, Cochin 68 46-50 Available at -
  • Shanmugam, S and Kathirvel, M (1983) Lobster resources and culture potential Mariculture potential of Andaman and Nicobar Islands-An indicative survey Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 34 61-65 Available at -
  • Dineshbabu, AP; Durgekar, RN and Zacharia, PU (2011) Estuarine and marine decapods of Karnataka inventory Fishing Chimes Mr.J.V.H. Dixitulu 30 (10-11) 20-24 Available at -
  • Rao, GS; Suseelan, C and Kathirvel, M (1989) Crustacean resources of the Lakshadweep islands Marine living resources of the union territory of Lakshadweep: An indicative survey with suggestions for development Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI 43 72-76 Available at -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-12-15

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