Lobsters and Shrimps

West Indies Spiny Lobster West Indies Spiny Lobster
Panulirus argas


24" (61 cm) long, 6" (15 cm) high. Long, cylindrical, spiny. Pale gray, tan, greenish. brownish, or mahogany, with large yellowish spots on carapace and tail, paler underneath; legs longitudinally striped with blue. Carapace has rows of strong spines, largest pair of spines above eyestalks, bent forward. 1st pair of antennae slender, branched, 2/3 body length; 2nd pair of antennae longer than body, large, heavy, spiny, base with strong spines. No pincers on walking legs. Abdomen smooth, each segment with furrow across middle.


Among rocks, sponges and other growth, and reefs; from low-tide line to water 300' (91 m) deep.


North Carolina to Florida; Gulf of Mexico; Bermuda; West Indies to Brazil.


Although called "crawfish" in many places, this lobster should not be confused with the freshwater crawfish or crayfish. It is heavily fished throughout its range, and in Florida is now abundant only in the Keys.