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Painted Spiny Lobster

Panulirus versicolor

The Painted Spiny Lobster has a dark, bluish black back with white or light blue streaks and lines. The legs have longitudinal white and dark blue stripes.

The antennae are mostly white, but pink at the base. The tail is folded under the abdomen. The female Painted Spiny Lobster has claws on the fifth leg pair which are used in reproduction.

Painted Spiny Lobster (Panulirus versicolor)

Panulirus versicolor @ Koh Bida

During the day the Painted Spiny Lobster hides in crevices and cracks in rock, usually in shallow water down to 15 - 20 m. This species grows to 30 cm (usually seen much smaller than this) and hunts at night.

Painted Spiny Lobster (Panulirus versicolor)

Panulirus versicolor @ Koh Bida

If a lobster's leg is grasped or damaged by a predator, a specialist muscle in the leg segment contracts violently as an automatic reflex. This contraction causes the leg to be released/sheared at a fracture plane, and allows the lobster a chance to escape from the predator.

An antenna, on the other hand, must be pulled off, since there is a fracture plane but no specialist muscle in the antennae.

Painted Spiny Lobster (Panulirus versicolor)

Panulirus versicolor @ Koh Bida

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