Panulirus versicolor   (Latreille,  1804) (Spiny Lobster)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Malacostraca

Size: Maximum total body length of 40 cm, and an average length less than 30 cm.

Color: Cephalothorax and abdomen green, carapace marbled with black spots and blotches, edged with white, these continue on supra-orbital spines; antennule and flagella banded black and yellowish-white; antennal peduncle pink, its spines with black bases and lemon-green tips, flagella banded green and white. Walking legs black with white stripes. Abdominal somite with black transverse band on hind margin, with white stripe running through border of telson; uropod and abdominal appendages fringed white, the last with white central stripe; spinules on telson and uropod with green bases and golden tips.

Antennular plate with two pairs of spines, one behind the other, no spinules in-between, two denticles rarely present. The three spines of fused coxicerite large, sub-equal, the median one slightly in advance. Groove along posterior margin of carapace not of uniform width.

The species is nocturnal and not gregarious; in daytime, it hides in crevices and cavities of the rocks.

Synonym (s)
Palinurus versicolor Latreille, 1804
Palinurus taeniatus Lamarck, 1818
Palinurus fasciatus De Haan, 1841
Palinurus (Panulivus) ornatus var. decoratus Heller, 1865
Panilurus demani Borradaile, 1899
Panilurus ornatus Rathbun, 1910
Panilurus versicolor de Man, 1916

Common Name (s)
• Painted Spiny Lobster (English)
• Marine Crayfish (English)
• Painted Crayfish (English)
• Painted Rock Lobster (English)
• Porcelain Crayfish (English)
• Striped Crayfish (English)
• Kikat (Sindhi)
• Pointed Spiny -lobster (English)
• Ponvandu eral
• Singi eral
• Rama eral
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Rocky, Coastal


• Red Sea
• Gulf of Aden
• Gulf of Oman
• Karnataka, Netrani Island (Lat: 14) (Long: 74.32) INDIA (Record: 05/2006) (Depth: 12-15 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, North Reef Island INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA (Record: 1977-1979)
• Tamil Nadu, Parangipettai INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Port Blair INDIA (Record: 01/1978-04/1978)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Car Nicobar, Sawai 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)
  • Tampi, PRS and George, MJ (1975) Phyllosoma larvae in the IIOE (1960-65) collections: Systematics Mahasagar 8(1-2) 15-44
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • ETI bioinformatics, world biodiversity database (Euphausiacea) Available at -
  • Jonklaas, R A preliminary investigation of the spiny lobster resources of the Maldive Islands Proceedings on the symposium on crustacea Marine Biological Association of India, Mandapam Camp Available at - CASMB, Parangipettai
  • Fernando, AS and Fernando, OJ (2002) A field guide to the common invertebrates of the east coast of India Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology 1-258 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Debelius, H (2001) Crustacea Guide of the world 11-318 Available at - CMFRI, Kochi
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Bal, DV and Rao, KV (1984) Marine fisheries Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited 470 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Sealifebase Available at -
  • Al-Abdessalaam, TZS (1995) Marine species of the Sultanate of Oman p 412 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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
  • Dr. Kumaraguru, AK (2000) Studies on socioeconomics of Coral Reef resource users in the Gulf of Mannar coast, South India Centre for Marine and Coastal studies School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India Available at -
  • Rao, GC; Rao, DV and Devi, K (1994) A faunal exploration of the North Reef Island sanctuary, North Andaman Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 10(1&2) 68-81 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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 -
  • Balaji,K; Thirumaran, G, Arumugam, R, Kumaraguruvasagam, KR and Anantharaman, P (2007) Marine ornamental invertebrate resources of Parangipettai coastal waters (south east coast of India) Journal of fisheries and aquatic science Academic Journals 2(5) 328-336 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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