Common lobster

Animal File

Rocky reefs
Common Name:
Common lobster
Scientific Name:
Hommarus gammarus
Size: Up to 60cm
Atlantic, Mediterranean
Norway to Morocco
Conservation Status
Not evaluated

Lobsters are a ten legged crustacean closely related to shrimp and crabs. The common lobster is dark blue in colouration with yellow spots and two large pincers located at the front of the body. Each pincer is different in size serving different functions with the larger of the two used for crushing and the smaller or more slender used for slicing.

Common lobsters live within rocky crevices from shallows to water as deep as 150 meters.  Common lobsters are scavengers, using their excellent sense of taste and smell to locate prey items such as fish, plants and molluscs, juveniles are also known for being cannibalistic.

When lobsters and other crustaceans grow, they shed their entire exoskeleton to enable increasing  in size by approximately 20% each time. Limbs that have been lost or discarded to avoid predationcan be regenerated during this process.

Sexual maturity is reached at around six years of age. Spawning occurs once a year during the summer season. Between 10,000 and 15,000 eggs are carried by the female on her swimming legs until they hatch approximately nine months later.

Common lobster numbers have been greatly depleted due to over exploitation by commercial fisheries.

The Oceanarium’s lobsters are displayed in the Abyss. One of these has previously participated in research at Southampton University to help find cures for lobster diseases.

Children under 3 yrs FREE!! See other tickets

The health of our aquarium family, which includes our visitors, staff and animals, is our top priority. In light of the most recent advice from Public Health England and the government, we will be temporarily closing the Oceanarium Bournemouth effective immediately, until further notice.

We apologise for any disappointment and inconvenience caused.

Please be assured that our dedicated keeper team will continue to provide the best care for our animals during the closure.

If you’ve booked tickets for any day during this closure, you can exchange them for any other date in 2020 or we can provide a refund. Please send your booking details to

We’ll keep you informed through our website and social media channels. Thank you for your patience and we really look forward to welcoming you back to the Oceanarium when we re-open. Stay safe everyone.