Antennular plate with only two large spines. Exopod of third maxilliped reduced, without flagellum.
Transverse groove of abdominal somites with straight margins, not crenulated. Transverse grooves of abdominal somites three and four do not join groove along anterior margin of corresponding pleuron.
Colour: body and especially tail covered by distinct rounded whitish spots. Antennulae and legs streaked with yellowish or whitish longitudinal lines, not banded or spotted.
Type locality: of Panulirus echinatus: "Pernambuco" (= Recife, Pernambuco State, Brazil). Whereabouts of type material unknown.
Type locality of Panulirus inermis: "Dredged in Water Bay [Fernando do Noronha, Brazil]. About 10 fathoms depth". Holotype (puerulus stage) in BM, no. 1888:19, in alcohol, condition fair.
Type locality of Panulirus guttatus brasiliensis: "Atól das Roccas. - lattitude S.3°52'30" e longitude EM do Rio de Janeiro 9°20'26" - e Pernambuco". Whereabouts of type material unknown.
Extreme N.E. Brazil (Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, and Pernambuco States) and the Central Atlantic Islands (Canary Islands, Cape Verde islands, St. Pauls Rocks, Fernando do Noronha, Atol das Rocas, Ilha da Trindade, Ascension, St. Helena).
Habitat and Biology:
Depth range from 0 to 35 m, but usually not deeper than 25 m; in deep crevices in rocks, among boulders, etc. The animals are nocturnal.
The carapace length varies from 3 to 19 cm (males) and 2 to 15 cm (females), the total body length from 7 to 39 cm (males) and 5 to 38 cm (females). Ovigerous females with carapace length 5 to 10 cm have been reported. In some areas the population consists of animals much smaller than in other areas.
Interest to Fisheries:
The species is fished for throughout its range. In St. Helena it is reported to be of commercial importance. In the Cape Verde Islands it is the most abundant coastal lobster, and it might support a more intensive fishery. In Brazil it is fished and marketed in the states where it occurs, as well as at Fernando do Noronha and Atol das Rocas.
The species is caught with lobster traps, by diving and by hand (at night with torches in shallow water). In Brazil it is often taken together with Panulirus argus or P. laevicauda.