Sharks of the World
Author: L.B. Holthuis
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Scientific name:

Scyllarides latus

Vernacular name:

Mediterranean slipper lobster, Grande cigale, Cigarra


Use the links below to jump to previous and next taxa in a text browser:
Scyllarides herklotsii - Red slipper lobster
Scyllarides herklotsii - Cigale rouge
Scyllarides herklotsii - Cigarra roja
Scyllarides nodifer - Ridged slipper lobster
Scyllarides nodifer - Cigale chambré
Scyllarides nodifer - Cigarra de quilla

(Latreille, 1802)

Diagnosis:
Tubercles on the carapace high and conspicuous. Anterolateral tooth of fourth antennal segment hooked and twisted up out of plane of the segment. Carpus of first pereiopod with a distinct dorsal groove, and without a conspicuous basal swelling. Dorsal carinae of abdomen distinct and consisting of a row of pointed or blunt tubercles. Central spot on first abdominal somite circular, separated by a narrow yellowish ringlike zone which surrounds the entire spot and separates it from the lateral spots, which are broadly triangular with the inner margin concave. Pleura of second abdominal somite ending in a sharp somewhat posteriorly directed point; outline of the posterior margin concave in the middle through the presence of a strong tooth. Fourth abdominal somite of adult specimen not conspicuously higher than the third.

Type:
Type locality of S. latus: "Méditerranée". As lectotype is now chosen the specimen figured by C. Gesner (1558, Historia Animalium liber IIII: 1097); this specimen was drawn by Cornelius Sittardus in Rome and evidently came from the coast near Rome, as the figure was made after a fresh specimen. The type is lost, but the original figure by C. Sittardus, published by Gesner is now in RMNH (in collection L.B. Holthuis).
Type locality of Pseudibacusveranyi: "aux environs de Nice", S. France. Whereabouts of type unknown.

Geographical Distribution:
Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic from the coast of Portugal (near Lisbon) to Senegal, Madeira, the Azores, the Selvagens Islands and Cape Verde Islands.

Habitat and Biology:
Found in depths between 4 and 100 m on a rocky or sandy substrate. Food consists mainly of molluscs, especially limpets (Patella sp.). Ovigerous females from June to August.

Size:
Maximum total body length about 45 cm, usually not more than 30 cm. Carapace length to 12 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
The species is taken and eaten wherever it occurs, but because it is rather rare, there is no commercially important fishery. It is incidentally taken with trammel nets, trawls and lobster pots, also by hand (divers). Scuba diving made its habitat more accessible to collectors, and in some areas the population of Scyllarides had to pay a heavy toll because of this. The species is sold on the local markets, either fresh or frozen. In Israel 2 to 3 tons are taken annually, elsewhere it is only occasionally offered for sale. The meat is very tasty; already Risso (1816: 60) remarked that "la chair égale, par sa bonté celle des meilleurs crustacés de la Méditerranée".

Scyllarides latus
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