IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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WhyReef - Lifestyle

Unlike other lobsters, the ornate spiny lobster does not have big front claws, but it does have long spines covering much of its body and its antennae. Its front two antennae can grow up to 2 feet (61 cm) long, and it uses them to sniff out its prey. By rubbing its antennae against its head and making a loud grinding noise, it can also warn other lobsters or predators to stay away.

Young spiny lobsters face even greater danger from predators, especially during the harsh winter, when storms force them to move from their homes to deeper parts of the reef, where they will live out the rest of their adult lives. These young lobsters travel in a single-file line of up to 100,000 members, but if they are threatened by a predator, they can suddenly whip themselves into a circle with their spines pointing towards their attacker. This seemingly endless line of traveling lobsters has been said to look like a gently curving snake or eel.


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