Spotted spiny lobsters, Panulirus guttatus, also known as Spanish Lobsters or just plain spotted lobsters, are a small, somewhat secretive lobster found on reefs in Florida and the Caribbean. Our target size is 1.5″ to 2″ long and is an ideal size for most aquariums, but bigger ones are often available or can be obtained upon request. They can be bigger when we ship them. We don’t get many of these, and usually only have one or two in stock when this item is viewable, so they will probably not last long. These lobsters don’t get very big in the wild, maybe 8″ max, and are somewhat slow growing, so it will take a long time to get that big. As you can see from the picture, they are quite attractive. These lobsters do not have claws and will not get them.
Lobsters are scavengers and will eat just about anything, so they aren’t difficult to keep. It’s a good idea to pick and choose tank mates carefully for these because when they get hungry they may start to eye your scallops, snails, and clams. They don’t eat corals, anemones, gorgonia, ricordea, or mushrooms, and many snails and crabs will probably be OK, but I would recommend caution. They will usually not eat larger fish, but I have heard of them catching and eating smaller fish, so unless your small fish sleep in holes at night, like some of the blennies and gobies do, I would avoid adding them to a tank with small fish in it.
Crawdaddy, a KP spotted lobster has been with me for over 2 years. He has successfully molted 3 times. The first molt is scary and you may think you are pulling a dead animal from the tank (voice of experience) and you will not see it again for a few days while the new shell hardens. They don’t seem to need a lot of special requirements other than a home den and bits of meaty food (small pieces of shrimp or frozen mysis seem to work well). I add a small amount of calcium and iodine to the tank about 6 times a year. His only room mate is a spade fish (added after a year) and they seem to ignore each other, even when feeding on the same foods.