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Characteristics, distribution and ecology
Taxonomische classification
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Stebbing, 1900

Carapace in front of the cervical groove pubescent. Merus of walking legs triangular in transverse section, the flat outer surface pubescent. Abdominal somites two to five with two transverse grooves. Anterior groove of abdominal somites two to five very deep and as hairy as the posterior groove.

Type locality: "False Bay", southern Cape Province, South Africa, and "25 miles s.w. 1/4 w. from Cape St.Blaize" near Mosselbaai, Cape Province, South Africa; syntype male in SAM, no. A 970 (in alcohol).

Geographical Distribution:
South Africa: south coast of Cape Province from False Bay to Port Alfred (from 18°30' to 27°E). Also reported from the Fort Dauphin area of Madagascar (Crosnier and Jouannic, 1973: 13).

Habitat and Biology:
The species has been reported from depths between 55 and 360 m; it inhabits rocky areas and shelters in the crevices of the rocks.

Maximum total body length 16 cm (males) and 31 cm (females). The recorded carapace lengths vary from 3 to 13 cm, usually between 6 and 10 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
According to Berry (1971: 18) the species did not support a commercial fishery. But Pollock and Augustyn (1982: 57-73) reported that commercially exploitable densities of this species were discovered near the edge of the continental shelf between Cape Agulhas and Port Alfred in about 110 m depth. The FAO Yearbook of Fisheries Statistics reports annual catches of 1820 metric tons in 1987 and 880 tons in 1988; all by South Africa. Near Fort Dauphin Madagascar, Crosnier and Jouannic (1973: 13) found only small quantities of lobsters in areas with rocky bottoms difficult to exploit with the gear available to them.

Southern spiny lobster (Palinurus gilchristi)