Mediterranean Lobster - Spiny Lobster
Aragosta mediterranea Palinurus elephas Spiny lobster intotheblue.it
Palinurus elephas is a spiny lobster, which is commonly caught in the Mediterranean Sea. Is a common species of spiny lobster, found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, from southern Norway to Morocco and the Azores and in the Mediterranean Sea, except its eastern extremes.
It lives on rocky exposed coasts below theintertidal zone, mainly at depths of 20 to 70 metres.
Palinurus elephas may reach up to 60 cm long, although rarely longer than 40 cm, and usually 25–30 centimetres. Few achieve their maximum weight of several kilograms.
The adults are reddish-brown with yellow spots. The carapace is slightly compressed and lacks lateral ridges. It is covered with forward pointing spines, with the supraorbital spines prominent. The antennae are very heavy and spiny. Their flagellum is tapering and is even longer than the body. The first walking leg (pereopod) is provided with subchela (the distal end of a limb developed as a prehensile structure). The fourth segment (merus) of this leg has a characteristic row of spines.
The breeding season is in September and October, with the female brooding the reddish eggs. These eggs hatch about six months later in the spring as flattened, leaf-shaped, planktonic larvae (phyllosoma larvae). In this movie we see many lobsters grouped in a cliff: they are preparing for reproduction.
It is nocturnal and feeds on small worms, crabs or dead animals, hiding in rock crevices or caves during the day.
It is a much sought-after delicacy and is widely caught for food around the Mediterranean Sea, mostly with lobsters pots, and is also caught less intensively off the Atlantic Coasts of Ireland, Portugal, France and England. There are also small fisheries for this species on the west coast of Scotland, employing tangle nets or lobster pots.