Panulirus ornatus   (Fabricius,  1798) (Spiny Lobster)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Malacostraca

Size: Maximum total body length of 50 cm, but usually much smaller (30 to 35 cm).

Color: Cephalothorax with bluish ground color, spines orange with golden tips; antennular flagella banded crimson-brown and cream colored; supra-orbital spines with cream colored stripes. Abdominal somites olive-green with a wide but faint black mark, each segment with a lateral white streak and a cream oval shaped spot. Telson, uropods and abdominal appendages with reddish tinge; legs banded brownish-red and cream.

Antennular plate with four spines, the posterior two being only half as long as the anterior ones, a pair of denticles between them. Of the three spines on the fused coxicerites the middle one larger than the lateral ones; no flagellum on the exopodites of the second maxillipeds, these being tipped with a tuft of setae. The three pairs of sub-median spines in front of cervical groove slightly divergent; the three behind this groove convergent posteriorly; the groove on the posterior margin of the carapace of the same width throughout, no transverse grooves on the abdominal segments.

It is solitary, may live in pairs and has been found in larger concentrations.

Synonym (s)
Palinurus ornatus Fabricius, 1798
Panuliurus ornatus Fabricius, 1798
Panuliurus (Parutirus) ornatus Miero, 1880
Panuliurus homarus Pfeffer, 1897
Panulirus polyphagus Borradaile, 1904

Common Name (s)
• Rock Lobster (English)
• Ornate Spiny Lobster (English)
• Mani eral
• Coral Crayfish (English)
• Ornate Crayfish (English)
• Ornate Rock Lobster (English)
• Painted Cray (English)
• Tropical Rock Lobster (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, used for local consumption or exported as frozen lobster tails. )

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Demersal, Sandy, Muddy, Coastal


• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA
• East Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• West Coast INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, North Reef Island INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Junglighat INDIA (Record: 01/1978-04/1978)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Katchall INDIA (Record: 01/1978-04/1978)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Camorta, Spiteful Bay INDIA (Record: 01/1978-04/1978)
• Karnataka INDIA (Record: 2001-2007)
• West Bengal, South 24 Parganas INDIA
• West Bengal, Medinipur INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Pearl, TM; Reddy, PSR and Thangavelu, R (1987) On the endophragmal skeletons of spiny lobsters Panulirus homarus and P.ornatus Indian Journal of Fisheries 34(2) 218-222 Available at - NCL, Pune (ASFA Records)
  • Venkatraman, K; Srinivasan, M; Satyanarayana, CH and Prabhakar D (2002) Faunal diversity of Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve Conservation area series 15 ZSI 77 pp; VIII pla Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Zoological Survey of India (Eds) (1991) Animal resources of India (Protozoa to Mammalia) ZSI 1-694 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Nair, RV; Soundarajan, R and Nandakumar, G (1981) Observations on growth and moulting of spiny lobsters Panulirus homarus (Linnaeus), P.ornatus (Fabricius) and P. penicillatus (Olivier) in captivity Indian Journal of Fisheries 28(1-2) 25-35 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Ramakrishna; Sarkar, J and Talukdar, S (2003) Marine invertebrates of Digha coast and some recomendations on their conservation Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Kolkata 101(3-4) 1 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • ETI bioinformatics, world biodiversity database (Euphausiacea) Available at -
  • Islam, MS (1995) On the ornate spiny lobster, Panulirus ornatus (Fabricius) a new record from Bangladesh Bangladesh Journal of Zoology 23(2) 245-246 Available at - Zoological Records (Bangladesh)
  • Jones, S The crustacean fishery resources of India Proceedings on the symposium on crustacea Marine Biological Association of India, Mandapam Camp 1328-1339 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
  • 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 -
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. 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 -
  • 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
  • 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 -
  • Roy, MK (2010) Diversity and Distribution of Crustacea Fauna in wetlands of West Bengal Journal of Environment and Sociobiology Social Environmental and Biological Association, Kolkata, India 7(2) 147-187 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • 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 -
  • Chatterjee, TK; Husain, A and Mitra S (2007) Faunal diversity in prawns and crabs in Digha and adjacent coast in West Bengal with notes on the relationship of their abundance with physico-chemical parameters Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 104(3) 311-315 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2012-02-03

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