Palinurus elephas (Fabricius, 1787)


Palinurus elephas

Description: The crayfish is larger than the lobster, growing to about 600mm in length. It has long antennae but small hook-like claws.

Habitat: Crayfish are found on open exposed rock faces and rocky seabed in the circalittoral and infralittoral zones. Numbers have been severely depleted on most coasts by tangle net fishing.

Distribution: A widespread species on western coasts of the British Isles, becoming rather scarce in Scotland.

Similar Species: The only other large crustacean with a similar shape is the lobster Homarus gammarus.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map: NBN map : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

WoRMS: Species record : World Register of Marine Species.

iNaturalist: Species account : iNaturalist World Species Observations database

 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C. (2016). Palinurus elephas (Fabricius, 1787). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. Accessed on 2023-11-29

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