Panulirus interruptus


click on image for more illustrations

North of Point Conception California, to the Gulf of Tehuantepec, Mexico.
Phyllosoma larvae planktonic, puerulus stage and adults benthic.
Larvae 1.2-31.2 mm; adults to 150-300 mm.
Larvae feed on plankton; adults feed on sea urchins, clams, mussels and worms.
Adults: humans, fish, octopus and sea otters.
Useful Facts or Characters: 

There are 11 floating larval "phyllosoma" stages shown in the images here.  The body is transparent and compressed dorsally.  The 11th phyllosoma stage metamorphoses to the "puerulus" stage where it no longer has a leaf-like appearance and starts to take on more adult-like appearance.  The puerulus' habitat becomes the benthos, like the adult.

Natural History: 

Commonly call the California spiny lobster.  The California spiny lobster is fished commercially and recreationally.


Johnson, M.W. (1956) The larval development of the California spiny lobster, Panulirus interruptus (Randall), with notes on Panulirus gracilis Streets. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 29: 1-19.