Animals

Slipper Lobster Facts You’ll Never Forget

Read these Slipper Lobster facts to learn all about this type of lobster.
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The crustaceans, Slipper Lobster, belong to the family of Scyllaridae. These lobsters are not considered to be original or true lobsters but are commonly related to spiny and furry lobsters, the only difference being their flattened bodies and no large claws. They are also known are shovel-nosed or mitten lobsters. One interesting fact about the birth of these lobsters is that the young Slipper Lobsters go through around ten developmental stages or phases when hatched out of the egg.

Most of the species are caught as food in the Pacific Islands and they are considered as bottom dwellers which can be found at up to 500 m depth. Most of the species of the Slipper Lobsters hunt at the night and hide in reefs or sand during daylight. They can be easily recognized by their enlarged antennae coming out as a wide plate from their heads and their flattened body. There is quite a variation among the species of Slipper Lobsters in terms of size and weight but guess what, almost all the species of the Slipper Lobster are edible. Some species of these lobsters such as the Moreton Bay Bug and Balmain Bug are of higher commercial importance than the others and we think that Scyllarides might be quite a gripping species for animal and food lovers. Read on to learn about the Slipper Lobster. To discover more sea creatures, check out Sally Lightfoot crab facts and mimic octopus facts.

Slipper Lobster

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Mollusks like limpets, mussels, oysters, and also small shrimps, worms, sea urchins

What do they eat?

Omnivores

Average litter size?

12

How much do they weigh?

1.1-3.3 lb (0.5-1.5 kg)

How long are they?

7-11 in (180-280 mm), depending on species

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Spiny lobsters without large claws and flat bodies

Skin Type

Spiny, furry

What are their main threats?

Triggerfish, octopuses, and groupers

What is their conservation status?

Not Extinct

Where you'll find them

Warm oceans and seas, shallow water of lagoons and crevices on reefs

Locations

Pacific Islands

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Malacostraca

Scientific Name

Scyllaridae

Family

Scyllaridae, Latreille

Genus

Scyllaridae

Slipper Lobster Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Slipper Lobster?

Slipper lobsters belong to the category of lobsters.

What class of animal does a Slipper Lobster belong to?

The Slipper Lobster belongs to the Arthropoda class of animals.

How many Slipper Lobsters are there in the world?

Due to the spread of 80-90 species of Slipper Lobster around the world, there is not much data on the exact number of the Slipper Lobster Scyllarides, but the most recent data states that the global annual production is around 5000 tonnes, dominated by a species Thenus Orientalis in Asia.

Where does a Slipper Lobster live?

They are mostly found in warm oceans and seas such as the Pacific islands.

What is a Slipper Lobster's habitat?

These lobsters tend to be in both temperate and tropical regions or habitats with varying substrates that include hard or soft. Most of the species of these lobsters exhibit quite an array of adaptations including anatomical and physiological.

Who do Slipper Lobsters live with?

As these lobsters hide in reefs or sands because of vulnerability to attacks from predators like triggerfish, octopuses, and others, they tend to live on their own and sometimes in packs.

How long does a Slipper Lobster live?

Determining the age of a Slipper Lobster is difficult but it is believed that less than one in every thousand survives to settle on the seafloor to become a juvenile Slipper Lobster and less than one in every hundred juveniles survives to become a mature adult. That said, once this lobster reaches its maximum size, it has the potential of living for 10-15 years.

How do they reproduce?

The process of reproduction of the Slipper Lobster starts when a male lobster deposits a sperm packet or scientifically known as a spermatophore on the underside of a female lobster during mating. Then the female lobster releases a large number of eggs which could be up to 100,000 eggs, which she carries inside her body for around two weeks. The color of these eggs changes from orange to brown.  The eggs hatch into very small floating larval stages and drift in the sea for about 11 months.

What is their conservation status?

While some species of the Scyllarides are of high commercial value and some are not, a lot of them are not accounted for with data and exact numbers but it is believed that due to the existence of around 80-90 species of these crustaceans in different parts of the world, the current conservation status for these lobsters is Not Extinct.

Slipper Lobster Fun Facts

What do Slipper Lobsters look like?

These lobsters have quite a segmented body. The most distinguishing feature of these lobsters are the antennae which expand from the head, the first one being long and flexible used to sense the environment, and the second antennae make the slipper lobster recognizable as they are flattened into large plates that come out horizontally forward from the head. Their flattened outer shell makes them resemble a slipper, from where this crustacean gets its name.

The segmented, flat outer shell of the Slipper Lobster is its recognizable feature.

How cute are they?

In general, lobsters are not considered cute and are rather known for their knight-like appearance.

How do they communicate?

While there is no identified way of communication among Slipper Lobsters, certain tests and studies have been conducted which state that the dominant spiny lobsters use agonistic behaviors to influence the behavior and social status of the subordinate one. One is the urine-borne chemical signaling and the other is physical aggression by initiating an attack. The urine-borne signaling is effective when the lobsters are in a group or physical contact and sometimes, this results in avoidance strategies adopted by these lobsters.

How big is a Slipper Lobster?

A Slipper Lobster could weigh up to 1.1-3.3 lb (0.5-1.5 kg) and could be 7-11 in (180-280 mm ) long.

How fast can Slipper Lobsters move?

In general, lobsters move by walking slowly on the seafloor but when they have to be faster or flee, they tuck or curl and uncurl their tail under their abdomens while walking or swimming. They mostly swim backward to be quick.

How much does a Slipper Lobster weigh?

This crustacean can weigh up to 1.1-1.3 lb (0.5-1.5kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names identified for males and females of the species.

What would you call a baby Slipper Lobster?

There is no identified name for a baby Slipper Lobster.

What do they eat?

While some believe that Slipper Lobsters are carnivores, others believe that they can eat almost anything and thus, consider them omnivores. The glabrous Slipper Lobster eats mollusks like limpets, oysters, and other sea anemones including sea urchins and worms. These lobsters also scavenge on dead animal matter.

Are they harmful?

These lobsters which include spiny and furry ones are not considered harmful and almost all the species are edible.

Would they make a good pet?

Lobsters, in general, are thought to be as quirky and easy to care for pets but comes with some challenges. Firstly, there are only a few specific species that do well in tanks as compared to the natural setting and one of them includes spiny lobsters. You need to keep in mind that you require a properly balanced temperature of the water, for instance, cold water lobsters require a colder environment and bigger tanks if you want more than one lobster as lobsters require space and if it's a female and a male lobster, the female would require space to keep its eggs safe after mating. But there are certain advantages as your pet would not require any walks and would not pee on your floor and their food is easily available too.

Did you know...

While Slipper Lobsters are known for their flattened body, antennae on the head, use of their tail, and smaller claws unlike the long claws found in the spiny lobster, there is one less known fact that these lobsters emerge from their shelters to forage over the reef and use their powerful legs and jaws to pull apart and crack open living snails and oysters.

Why is it called Slipper Lobster?

While there is no specific history to its name, it is believed that the name has a high connection with its body features. Generally brown in color, the body of the Slipper Lobster is strongly flattened dorso-ventrally and it has two pairs of antennae. This flat shape is similar to that of a pair of slippers. The second pair of antennae are enlarged and flattened into shovels or flippers and thus, are also called shovel-nosed lobsters.

Catching and eating Slipper Lobster

Slipper Lobsters which are found in sandy sea floors are caught by trawling or setting baited traps and the ones found in the reefs are usually caught by hand at night or by divers using their breathing apparatus and spears.  

To start the process of eating this crustaceans lobster, you must first put them in running water and carefully scrub them with a brush to remove all the dirt and sand. Then steam or boil it and then carefully separate the head and the body by snipping off the hinges with a scissor. It is to be remembered that the dirt bag at the opening of the head is to be removed and is not to be eaten. Cut open the shell and remove the vein and then pick the flesh from the shell and you're ready to go. As slipper lobsters have no claws, the meat comes from the tail. The meat is white and firm and is sweet and tasty and is considered versatile with a good price in comparison to other lobster meat. It is also easily available almost every time of the year.

It is believed that these lobsters are best eaten when steamed but you must make sure that the water should be vigorously boiling. Slipper Lobster meat is great for soups, especially chowder, and can be used with salads and could go well with other preparations too.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including snapping turtle, or sucker fish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Slipper Lobster coloring pages.

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