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

Metanephrops japonicus

Vernacular name:

Japanese lobster


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Metanephrops formosanus - Formosa lobster
Metanephrops mozambicus - African lobster

(Tapparone-Canefri, 1873)

Diagnosis:
Carapace smooth between the ridges and large spines. Chelae of first pereiopods heavily ridged and spinulose. Prominent basal spine on outer edge of movable finger of large chela. Surface of abdominal tergites conspicuously sculptured. Raised parts of dorsal surface of abdomen subdivided. First abdominal somite with a dorsomedian carina. Fifth abdominal somite with distinct spine on carina, separating tergite from pleuron. Dorsomedian carina of sixth abdominal somite with one or two pairs of submedian spines.

Type:
Type locality: "proveniente dal Giappone". Holotype in MZT, no.Cr.1062.

Geographical Distribution:
Indo-West Pacific region: off the Pacific coast of Japan from Choshi, Chiba prefecture, Honshu to east coast of Kyushu.

Habitat and Biology:
Depth range from 200 to 440 m, usually between 200 and 300 m; bottom mud.

Size:
Total body length 9 to 12 cm. Carapace length: 3-7 cm (males), 3-6 cm (females).

Interest to Fisheries:
The species is fished throughout its range mostly by trawlers. It is highly esteemed as gourmet food and sold fresh and frozen. In Tosa Bay, the fishing season is between September and April, the catch of this species being smaller there than that of M. sagamiensis.

Metanephrops japonicus
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Japanese lobster
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