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California Spiny Lobster Information


    • Adult California spiny lobsters often live in rocky areas in the ocean at about 250 feet deep. Spiny lobsters usually spend the daylight hours in a small hole, called a "den," at the bottom of the ocean. More than one lobster usually live within a single den.


    • This lobster has a large tail which it often uses to defend itself when challenged by predators or other lobsters. This tail also helps the spiny lobster propel itself through the water at high speeds. Only the female California spiny lobsters have large claws, which she uses to fertilize her eggs.


    • Mating season for the spiny runs from November through the early part of May. The male releases a sticky sac of sperm it attaches to the underside of a female lobster. The female uses her claws to push the sperm sac onto her eggs when she releases them. The eggs then attach to the underside of the female lobster and remain there for about two months. Spiny lobsters usually reach sexual maturity at about 6 years of age.

    Life Cycle

    • The baby California spiny lobsters hatch from the eggs after about nine weeks and typically go through 12 molting stages where they shed their hard outer layer. These small lobsters drift in the ocean on underwater currents, sometimes at depths of 350 feet or more. While they drift, they filter the water for microorganisms and debris to feed on. After approximately eight months, the larvae enter into a "juvenile stage" and drift closer to the water's surface, usually settling in the sand near the shoreline.


    • The lobster larvae feed on microorganisms in the ocean water such as plankton and plant debris. Adults eat algae and underwater plants as well as snails, mussels, small fish, and even other lobsters.

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