Common Lobster

Theme area:  Abyss
Scientific name:  Homarus gammarus
Class:  Invertebrates
Continent:  Europe
Habitat:  Rocky reefs
Diet:  Carnivorous
Weight:  500 - 4000 g
Size:  30 - 50 cm

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.

Conservation status
Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


When lobsters grow, they shed their entire exoskeleton to enable increasing in size by approximately 20% each time
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