Plated Squat Lobster

  • Scientific name: Munida rugosa
  • Also known as: Rugose Squat Lobster
  • Size: Body can be up to 10cm in length
  • Distribution: Found all around the British coastline.

The plated squat lobster is thought to have a patchy distribution around the UK, being found mostly to the north west of Scotland and the coast of Northern Ireland. However, smaller populations are found elsewhere around the British Isles and it may be the case that this species has a wider distribution, but since it is of no interest to anglers and has no commercial importance it is simply unreported. It can be found on rocky seabeds anywhere between the intertidal zone and down to depths of several hundred metres. It grows to a maximum length of around 9 – 10cm and can be red, brown or orangey in colour. This species can be easily identified by the very long and thin claws (which are often tipped in white), small spines on the claws and the long antenna. There are also three spines on the head – one large central spine and a smaller spine either side of this. Although it looks as though the plated squat lobster walks on only six legs there are actually another pair of legs that are usually kept folded into the shell. Like all squat lobsters this species is not closely related to true lobsters and has more in common with crab species.