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Phylum Arthropoda > Subphylum Crustacea > Class Malacostraca > Order Decapoda
Lobsters and lobster-like crustacea
updated Nov 13
Where seen? Among our favourite seafood, lobsters do exist on our shores but they are usually found in deeper waters and only sometimes seen by divers. During the day, they are usually well hidden among corals. Those seen on the intertidal, were sadly trapped in drift nets. Some relatives such as mud lobsters and ghost shrimps are also common though rarely seen.

What are lobsters?
Lobsters and their relatives are crustaceans that belong to various Infraorders in the larger Order Decapoda. The Family Palinuridae include some of the lobsters that we eat. There are other lobster-like animals that are not really shrimps. Those more commonly found on our shores include the mud lobsters and ghost shrimps and mud shrimps.

Features: Like shrimps, lobsters and lobster-like crustacea have a long body and broad tail, and long antennae. Lobsters have heavy shells, unlike the light flexible exoskeletons of shrimps. Lobsters and lobster-like crustacea have heavier legs and tend to have powerful claws. They don't have swimmeretes (pleopods) like shrimps do. But they can also rapidly move backwards by flexing the abdomen and broad tail.


Human uses: Larger lobsters are harvested as seafood everywhere.


Lobsters are sometimes seen on the
intertidal, sadly, usually in driftnets.

St John's Island, May 06

The Mud shrimp is sometimes seen
Tuas, Oct 10

The Coral ghost shrimp is seldom seen
although the burrow is often encountered.

Sentosa, May 04

The Mud lobster is not a true lobster
but it plays a vital role in our mangroves.

Chek Jawa, Nov 01

Lobsters and lobster-like crustacea recorded for Singapore
from Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.
in red are those listed among the threatened animals of Singapore from Davison, G.W. H. and P. K. L. Ng and Ho Hua Chew, 2008. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened plants and animals of Singapore.
*from Tan, Leo W. H. & Ng, Peter K. L., 1988, A Guide to Seashore Life
**from Lim, S., P. Ng, L. Tan, & W. Y. Chin, 1994. Rhythm of the Sea: The Life and Times of Labrador Beach.
+from our observation.

Infraorder Palinura
  +Family Palinuridae
  +Panulirus ornatus (Ornate rock lobster)

Infraorder Thalassinidae
  **Family Callianassidae (ghost shrimps)
  **Glypturus sp. (Coral ghost shrimp)

  Family Thalassinidae (mud lobsters)
  Thalassina sp. (Mud lobsters)
Thalassina anomala
(EN: Endangered)
Thalassina gracilis (EN: Endangered)

  *Family Upogebiidae (mud shrimp)
  *Wolffogebia phuketensis (Mud shrimp) (EN: Endangered)

References
  • Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore. National Council on the Environment. 163pp.
  • Davison, G.W. H. and P. K. L. Ng and Ho Hua Chew, 2008. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened plants and animals of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore). 285 pp.
  • Jones Diana S. and Gary J. Morgan, 2002. A Field Guide to Crustaceans of Australian Waters. Reed New Holland. 224 pp.
  • Debelius, Helmut, 2001. Crustacea Guide of the World: Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean IKAN-Unterwasserachiv, Frankfurt. 321 pp.
  • Gosliner, Terrence M., David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams. 1996. Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal life from Africa to Hawaii exclusive of the vertebrates Sea Challengers. 314pp.
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