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Phylum Arthropoda > Subphylum Crustacea > Class Malacostraca > Order Decapoda > Lobsters
Ornate rock lobster
Panulirus ornatus
Family Palinuridae
updated Mar 2020
Where seen? Large lobsters are sometimes encountered in Singapore! In deeper water at reefs, underwater rocky areas, even artificial sea walls and jetties. Sadly, often also entangled in abandoned driftnets. Elsewhere it is found in shallow, sometimes slightly murky coastal waters, from 1-8m, in sandy and muddy, sometimes on rocky bottoms, often near the mouth of rivers, but also on coral reefs.

Features: 25-35cm long, up to 50cm long. Long abdomen with broad tail, large pincers, one larger than the other.
Two pairs of very long thick antennae. Wide range of colours.

Lobster lifestyle: It is solitary, may live in pairs and has been found in larger concentrations.

Human uses: It is harvested everywhere, but on a small scale.

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

St John's Island, May 06

A lobster released from a driftnet.
Jun 09

Ornate rock lobsters on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Seringat Kias, Apr 12
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Trapped in a net, Lazarus, Jan 22
Photo shared by Kelvin Yong on facebook.



  • Lim, S., P. Ng, L. Tan, & W. Y. Chin, 1994. Rhythm of the Sea: The Life and Times of Labrador Beach. Division of Biology, School of Science, Nanyang Technological University & Department of Zoology, the National University of Singapore. 160 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.
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