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

Scyllarides aequinoctialis

Vernacular name:

Spanish slipper lobster, Cigale marie-carogne, Cigarra español


Use the links below to jump to previous and next taxa in a text browser:
Arctides regalis - Royal Spanish lobster
Scyllarides astori - Galapagos slipper lobster
Scyllarides astori - Cigale de Galapagos
Scyllarides astori - Cigarro de Galápagos

(Lund, 1793)

Diagnosis:
Grooves on the carapace very inconspicuous. Tubercles of carapace and abdomen low, hairs inconspicuous. Pregastric and gastric teeth hardly if at all set off from the surface of the carapace. Cervical incision of the lateral margin hardly at all indicated. Carpus of first pereiopod with a large swollen hump in the upper basal part; a very shallow groove extends over this hump. Outline of the posterior margin of the pleura of the second abdominal somite concave in the middle through the presence of a strong tooth. No indication at all of a median carina on the abdominal somites. Second abdominal sternite of male evenly denticulate, without a deeper median incision. First abdominal somite dorsally in the middle with a well defined horseshoe-shaped spot, consisting of two rounded submedian spots, which are connected anteriorly.

Type:
Type locality of S. aequinoctialis: "seldom seen in Jamaica, though a native of those seas" (Browne, 1756:424). The male specimen figured by Browne is chosen as the lectotype of Lund's species; its present whereabouts are unknown.
Type locality of Parribacus gerstaeckeri: "Atlantischer Ocean" Type material in ZMH.

GeographicalDistribution:
Western Atlantic, from S. Carolina (USA) and Bermuda via the West Indies to S. Brazil (São Paulo State), including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

Habitat and Biology:
Depth range from 0.6 to 180 m, usually between 0.6 and 64 m; on a substrate of sand or rocks, often on outer reefs. The animals are sluggish and nocturnal and feed on (dead) animals, detritus, etc. They bury themselves in the sand.

Size:
Maximum total body length over 30 cm; carapace length up to about 12 cm

Interest to Fisheries:
The species is used as food, but is not of great economic importance; it is eaten mostly by the poorer people. Verrill (1912: 23) remarked that it "is not commonly sold in the markets" at Bermuda, and "is rarely used as food there" Morice (1958: 86) remarked that with Panulirus argus this species is the most common lobster in the market of Fort-de-France, Martinique. In Belize, the species "though occasionally caught, is never prepared for export and therefore is of no significance in the fishery" (Allsopp, 1968). Almost throughout its range S. aequinoctialis is eaten, but evidently not very highly esteemed. Its meat also serves as bait in lobsterpots. The animals are mostly taken in traps set for other species, but also with fixed gill nets and seines. It is sold fresh.

Scyllarides aequinoctialis
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Cigarra español
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