It is a decapod crustacean. It belongs to the Reptantia suborder. Live on rocky bottoms that are not too deep and usually less than 100 m. hidden among the rocks. It can rarely be found on stony bottoms. They are related to the Crayfish.
Lobster Palinurus elephas
( Eng ) Common spiny lobster
( Fr ) Langouste rouge
- The body is divided into two distinct parts: the cephalothorax or head and abdomen or tail.
- The head is spiny and the face small, in it two prominent protruding eyes protected by two spiny projections.
- Its tail is shaped like a fan.
- They do not have tweezers on the walking legs except the females that have them in the 5th pair.
- The lobster has a brown or brownish red body with yellow spots, which are more abundant in the abdomen, legs and antennae.
- Young animals have a yellow longitudinal band on the upper part of the body.
- Despite its heavy appearance, the lobster is able to swim thanks to the powerful contractions of its tail, strongly muscled.
- The antennae exceed the body of the lobster in length.
Types of Lobsters
- Lobster Mora or Rosa Palinurus mauritanicus
( Eng ) Pink spiny lobster ( Fr ) Langouste rose
Its color is lighter, reddish or pink, and it has a head bigger than the body. It comes from the coasts of Africa and lives below 200 m.
- Royal lobster Palinurus regius
( Eng ) Royal spiny lobster ( Fr ) Langouste royale
It is known as green lobster because of its greenish tone and with a white transverse band in each segment of the abdomen. It is between 5 and 40 m. of depth. It inhabits the west coast of Africa and the Mediterranean (southern France and Spain).
- Cape lobster Jasus lalandii
( Eng ) Cape rock lobster ( Fr ) Langouste du Cap
Also known as African, comes mainly from the coasts of the coasts of Cape Verde and Mauritania. Its tone is green and has clearer bands on the sides of its body and tail. In addition, the antennae are more thorny.
- Cuban lobster Palinurus spp.
( Eng ) Palinurid spiny lobsters ( Fr ) Langoustes palinurus
It comes from the coasts of Cuba. It presents many differences with respect to the others and usually comes to us frozen.
Despite its heavy appearance, it is able to swim thanks to the powerful contractions of its heavily muscled tail. This is the part that makes it very appreciated gastronomically.
Of nocturnal habits, the lobster is very voracious and feeds on everything it finds, although its preferences are focused on polychaetes, crustaceans, molluscs, algae, organic remains and worms. It emphasizes the fact that it is able to break the hard shells of the bivalves, in spite of lacking tweezers.
- According to the Book of Records, the largest lobster was captured in Nova Scotia (Canada), and weighed 20.14 kg.
- When the lobster grows, it must move the hard calcified shell that covers it, (this operation is carried out several times throughout its life). It is precisely when it is detached from its old armor that the animal is very vulnerable, since the new shell does not harden until after a few hours. This exoskeleton is often eaten by the lobster to replace the calcium reserves in its organism.
- The lobster uses its long antennae to chase away its enemies, interposing them between it and the intruder. He also uses them to know his immediate surroundings through touch, a necessary skill in the low lighting conditions typical of the cracks and holes in which he lives.
- During their migration or trip, the lobsters form a row touching with the antennas the tail of the lobster in front. Lobsters can form rows of up to 100,000 individuals, the row has the appearance of a giant eel or snake. If a daring animal tries to attack them, the lobsters form a circle with the tail towards the center and all its spines out. Watch the following video .
- The name of the genus Palinurus evokes the helmsman of Aeneas (a prince of ancient Troy) who, according to legend, fell asleep at the helm and fell overboard into the sea.