Eastern Rock Lobster

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The Eastern Rock Lobster (Jasus verreauxi) inhabit the continental shelf along the east coast of Australia, from Tweed Heads in New South Wales, around Tasmania, through to Port MacDonnell in South Australia. They are a very important commercial catch species and are targeted by lobster fishes on the east coast of Australia. Eastern rock lobsters have a green body and brownish-orange legs. The larger adults are known to have brighter red legs than the juveniles. Their abdominal segments are smooth and unsculptured on their dorsal surface.

During winter they move in from deeper water into shallower waters and they hide in holes and crevices around rocky areas and reefs, preferring vegetative cover such as weed/kelp. In NSW the Eastern Rock Lobster can be confused with two other species. In the south of the state the southern rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii) is found. Eastern rock lobsters are green in colour, southern lobsters are red. In Northern NSW the ornate rock lobster (Panulirus ornatus) occurs. Ornate lobsters are greenish blue to reddish brown in colour, with orange spines on the head. Juvenile Eastern Rock Lobsters are often referred to as ‘Kittens’ and adults can grow to a maximum total length of 1 metre (including the antennas). The Eastern Rock Lobster is the largest spiny lobster in the world and can grow to over 15 kg and live up to 20 years.

Family: Palinuridae

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