Ten-legged crustacean with no prominent front claws.
Long antennae twice the length of its body.
Sharp, shiny projections along upper shell and sides of tail.
Red to orange coloration on shell.
Very strong jaws that deliver powerful bite.
Males are larger than females.
Monterey Bay, California to Magdalena Bay, Baja California, Mexico.
Highest abundance off central Baja California.
Live in lower rocky intertidal zones.
Up to depths of 230 feet.
Often found with large kelp and surf grass.
Often concealed during the day, many lobsters in a single rocky crevice; they feed right after sunset.
Males reach sexual maturity at 3-6 years old, and females at 5-9 years old.
Mating in deep water from December-March, usually during upwelling conditions.
Males deposit sperm onto female, who then lays brood of eggs.
Females produce several broods of larvae, 50,000-800,000 each, in lifetime.
Female holds onto eggs beneath their abdomens, protected by pleopods (hard flap right before tail).
Scavenge dead animals, detritus, and algae.
They eat mussels, urchins, coralline algae, fish, and echinoderms.
Octopuses, California sheephead, cabezon, kelp bass, California moray eels, horn sharks, leopard sharks, giant sea bass, and multiple types of rockfish.
Humans also fish for them.
To scare off competitors and predators, the Pacific spiny lobster will move their antennae in a large sweeping motion and make an alarming grating noise by rubbing their antennae against a file-like eyespot.
To escape from predators, spiny lobsters swim backwards with a flip of the tail. If caught by a predator, they will also self-autotomize, or purposely lose a limb or antennae, to escape!
They can crawl in every direction.
Spiny lobsters can regenerate a lost leg or antennae during each molt.
Sources: California Sea Grant; AnimalDiversity.org