Spiny Lobster

Palinurus elephas


A large crustacean, the Spiny Lobster is covered in jagged spines and lacks the large grabbing pincers of the Common Lobster. Spiny Lobsters live in crevices and caves amongst rocks from the low tide mark and deeper.

How to identify

A large lobster, without the big claws of the Common Lobster and covered in spines. Orangey brown in colour.

Where to find it

Found around coasts in the west of the UK.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Numbers of Spiny Lobster have been depleted by overfishing, but research from the Mediterranean suggests that numbers recover well in protected areas. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising Marine Protected Areas in the UK. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Spiny Lobster
Latin name
Palinurus elephas
Barnacles, crabs, shrimps and lobster
Length: up to 60cm
Conservation status
Classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.