- Rough gray-brown body with scattered dark brown or red-orange spots
- Reddish-orange antennules (small antennae-like structures) with purple tips
- Legs have a distinctive candy cane pattern (red and white bands) and lack claws
- Larger antennae modified into short, flattened, wide plates with smooth, round, edges on the front
- First abdominal segment with one red round spot in center of back
- Ridge along middle of abdomen
Spanish slipper lobster S. aequinoctialis; other slipper lobsters
Up to 14 inches in body length; carapace length to 4.5 inches
Rock, coral and sand bottoms in the western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
Sluggish and nocturnal animals that bury themselves in sand. Diet consists of a variety of mollusks, crustaceans, and other bottom-dwelling marine life.
Their thickened carapace provides some protection from predation.
Usually indirect sperm transfer, females carry the bright orange eggs on their undersides until the eggs turn brown and hatch, releasing the larvae.
Unregulated; however, egg bearing females must be released.
Image credit: Sheri Daye