Friday, January 18, 2013

Scarlet Lobsterette

Nephropsis atlantica
The Scarlet Lobsterette is a small little Lobster (though still of a decent size when you compare them to all Crustaceans.) They measure it at only 4in long, which makes the diminutive name appropriate. They have bright red bodies, and are covered in small bristles.

You'll find these little guys in the East Atlantic, where they dwell in water as deep as 1,800m... though a "shallower" 1,400m range is more common. Due to their deep sea living they have unpigmented eyes, and they are not often photographed (hence the illustration).

They are interestingly the only Lobsters in their region that are not commercially fished, in part because of their depth range, but also because of their small size. They belong to a genus that contains a handful of other deep-sea dwelling Lobsters.

Scarlet Lobsterettes feed on a variety of different materials, both plant and animal. They also scavenge for their food.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Eastern Atlantic
Size : Length up to 4in (10cm)
Classification : Phylum : Arthropoda -- Subphylum : Crustacea -- Class : Malacostraca -- Order : Decapoda -- Family : Nephropidae -- Genus : Nephropsis -- Species : N. atlantica 

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