The Southern Lobster (Jasus edwardsii) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean. It is also called the Red Rock Lobster or Spiny Rock Lobster. It is actually not a lobster; it is a crayfish. Lobsters have large pincers (nippers), like the nippers of crabs. The Southern Lobster does not have pincers, so it is a crayfish.
The Southern Lobster has a dark red, orange, or grey-green shell (exo-skeleton), called a carapace. It has a pale yellowish abdomen or underbelly.
It measures 43-58 centimetres (17-23 inches) in length.
The Southern Lobster is native to the coastal waters of southern Australia, from central New South Wales to Tasmania, as well as New Zealand. It prefers rocky reefs.
It is carnivorous and nocturnal, feeding at night. It feeds mainly on mussels and shrimps.
Females can have 100,000 to 500,000 eggs, which she carries on her underbelly near her tail. After 3-5 months, the eggs become larvae, called naupliosoma. The naupliosoma leave their mother and swim to the surface of the ocean, where they become phyllosoma (leaf-like) larvae. They spend 9-24 months in the phyllosoma stage, before metamorphosing into the post-larval stage, called the puerulus – the adult stage.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM