Lobster

Enw gwyddonol: Homarus gammarus
A well known inhabitant of UK seas, Common Lobsters can reach up to 60cm in length.

Species information

Ystadegau

Length: usually up to 50cm Average Lifespan: up to 15 years

Statws cadwraethol

Common, but vulnerable to local overexploitation

Pryd i'w gweld

January to December

Ynghylch

Common Lobsters are very familiar animals, with big front pincers and a long body that ends with a wide tail fan. Their pincers are different sizes, with one used for crushing and one for tearing. Lobsters are crustaceans and are related to crabs and even barnacles! Common Lobsters live in crevices and excavated hidey-holes amongst rocks beneath the low tide mark and out to depths of 60m. They hide during the day and come out to feed at night. Lobsters are scavengers, searching out food on the seabed, and will eat molluscs, sea urchins and other smaller crustaceans. If you spot a Lobster with thousands of tiny jelly balls on their legs, don't worry they're her eggs! Female lobsters carry their fertilised eggs around for up to 12 months to protect them from predators before they hatch. We say a female with eggs is "berried".

Sut i'w hadnabod

Unmistakeable: Common Lobsters are a deep blue colour, with 2 long red antennae. They have long body and 2 large pincers, one markedly chunkier than the other - this is the crusher and the thinner pincer is the tearer.

Dosbarthiad

Found around all UK coasts.

Roeddech chi yn gwybod?

Lobsters are actually blue! They only turn red when cooked. When the Lobster is alive, this red pigment is bound to a protein; but the heat of cooking breaks the bond, releasing the red pigment and turning the Lobster bright red!

Sut y gall bobl helpu

Lobster fisheries are well regulated in the UK, so there's no need to stop eating locally caught Lobster in moderation. If you own a restaurant or fishmongers, avoid buying berried females and encourage your suppliers to do so too. Evidence has shown that Marine Protected Areas have a positive impact on Lobster populations, with immature Lobsters "spilling over" into the surrounding non-protected sea to find new territories. The Wildlife Trusts are campaigning for a network of Marine Protected Areas in UK seas; you can join our campaign by becoming a Friend of MCZs at wildlifetrusts.org/MCZfriends. Wildlife Trusts around the UK are working with fishermen, researchers, regulators and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust or checking out out Action pages.