You can sponsor this page

Palinurus elephas   (Fabricius, 1787)

Common spiny lobster

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Palinurus elephas   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
Upload your photos and videos
| All pictures | Google image | Stamps |
Image of Palinurus elephas (Common spiny lobster)
Picture by Coudre, Christian

Classification Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Malacostraca | Decapoda | Palinuridae

Main reference References | Biblio | Coordinator | Collaborators

Holthuis, L.B. 1991. (Ref. 4)

Size / Weight / Age

Max length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 441); common length : 40.0 cm BASL male/unsexed; (Ref. 441); max. reported age: 15 years (Ref. 85318)


Benthic; depth range 5 - 200 m (Ref. 85369), usually 10 - 70 m (Ref. 4)

Climate / Range

Subtropical; 12°C - 16°C (Ref. 114562); 61°N - 27°N, 32°W - 36°E (Ref. 114562)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean: from Norway to Morocco.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Traditionally caught by traps, pots and sometimes by hand (e.g., diving and spearing; Refs. 441, 85369), but these gears were eventually replaced with trammel nets (Ref. 85369). Minimum depth from Ref. 4. Occurs at depths between shore to 200 m, on rocky bottoms and coralligenous substrates where there are lots of protective holes and micro-caves. Adults may be solitary, in pairs or in small groups. Highly omnivorous and preys on hard-shelled bottom dwelling organisms, i.e., mollusks, echinoderms and crustaceans. They are generalists and opportunistic feeders depending on the abundance of benthic organisms (Ref. 85369). Ovigerous females are observed from September to October and February to March (Ref. 4). Breeds once a year between June and October. Larger females mate and lay eggs earlier during breeding season while smaller females spawn towards the end (Ref. 85364).

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 114614)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2bd)

CITES status (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
FAO(fisheries: production) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | Check for other websites | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(fisheries: ; publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | National databases | PubMed | Scirus | Sea Around Us | FishBase | Tree of Life | uBio | uBio RSS | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimation of some characteristics with mathematical models

Vulnerability (Ref. 71543)
Moderate vulnerability (40 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Very high