Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

California Spiny Lobster

Panulirus interruptus


Fun Facts

    California Lobsters do not have front claws.




West Coast lobster, commonly known as "California Spiny Lobster", lacks claws (like most lobsters) and depends upon the many sharp spines on its body and antennae to help protect it from predators.  The antennae have the ability to make sound which may also ward off enemies and help detect unusual movement towards them.
Belonging to the decapod family of crustaceans, lobsters have 10 legs and 2 pairs of antennae.  Female lobsters brood up to 50,000 eggs underneath their abdomen for 70 days before they hatch.  Found in rocks and caves off the coast from Point Conception southward, lobsters are scavengers and come out at night to eat bits of plant and animal material that fall to the ocean floor.  They swim by flapping their tail very rapidly and have the ability to crawl in any direction.  Lobsters grow bigger by molting their exoskeleton.  After crawling out of their old skeleton, their soft body gets bigger and hardens into a new skeleton in about a day.  They can regenerate lost legs and antennae.  Big male lobsters, known as "bulls", have been known to grow up to 16 to 20 pounds and may be 75 to 100 years old.  Lobsters are found at the Aquarium in tank numbers 13 and 21 and at the touch tank.