Wildlife to Witness: Blue Spiny Lobster

related article: Lobster in Dahican

This blue spiny lobster was caught along Mayo Bay.

Panulirus versicolor (aka painted rock lobster, blue lobster, and blue spiny lobster) grows up to 40 centimetres (16 in) long, but is typically no more than 30 cm (12 in). It has no claws, two spiny rostra over the eyes, and two pairs of large antennae, like all spiny lobsters. The first pair of antennae are double ended, the second hard and spiny, both are usually white. The carapace is white, pink and black, with horizontal bands and a reticule. The abdomen is green with transverse black and white bands. The legs are dark brown with white stripes and the tail is blue-green. 

source: Wikipedia

NATURAL HABITAT: Nocturnal and solitary by nature, the Blue Spiny Lobster hides on the reef in crevices and caves by day, only emerging at night to hunt or scavenge. Despite its cryptic lifestyle, it occurs in relatively shallow waters, only down to about 15m (49ft) depth, and seems to favour seaward edges of reefs which have clear waters and may be subject to heavy surf. As it moves across the reef it may whip its long antennae back and forth to help it sense the environment. It is also able to generate a rasping noise by rubbing a soft nub (called a plectrum) on the underside of its antennae over a smooth file on the side of a plate below the eyes. This noise produced by this ‘stick and slip’ mechanism is thought to be part of the lobster’s defence strategy, as it still works even when the lobster is soft, just after moulting.

source: marinehabitatmagazine