Jasus verreauxi Click to enlarge image
Eastern Rock Lobster, Jasus verreauxi Image: Dr Isobel Bennett
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    verreauxi
    Genus
    Jasus
    Family
    Palinuridae
    Suborder
    Pleocyemata
    Infraorder
    Palinura
    Order
    Decapoda
    Superorder
    Eucarida
    Class
    Malacostraca
    Subphylum
    Crustacea
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    60 cm

Introduction

This species is commonly found in Sydney's top restaurants but much of Australia's catch is exported overseas.

Identification

The Eastern Rock Lobster is the largest spiny lobster in the world and can grow to over 15 kg.

Habitat

The Eastern Rock Lobster lives in coastal waters and oceans to a depth of 200 m.

Distribution

The Eastern Rock Lobster is found in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Also New Zealand.

Life history cycle

After mating, female Eastern Rock Lobsters carry hundreds of thousands of tiny orange eggs under their tail by fine hairs. The eggs hatch after about six months and, like most baby crustaceans, the juveniles look nothing like their parents. They go through a succession of moults before they reach the adult form, usually migrating to shallow waters in large numbers during the process. It is thought that the Eastern Rock Lobster lives for 20 years.

Economic impacts

The Eastern Rock Lobster is highly sought after by both recreational and commercial fishers. It is mostly caught in traps, and both commercial and recreational fishers must adhere to quotas and size restrictions, to give the lobsters a chance to breed before being caught.