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Spanish Slipper Lobster (Shovel-Nosed Lobster, Bulldozer)

Scyllarides aequinoctialis


  • Body and legs mottled yellowish to reddish in color with brown splotches
  • Small antennae-like structures, called antennules, near larger antennae
  • Larger antennae modified into short, flattened, wide plates with smooth, round, edges on the front
  • Legs lack claws
  • Horseshoe shaped black spot behind first tail segment (may look like two spots when carapace is covering part of spot)
  • Additional rounded black spots on each side of horseshoe shaped spot

Similar Species

Ridged slipper lobster, S. nodifer; other slipper lobsters


Up to 12 inches in body length; carapace length to 4.7 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 carrion and detritus along with of a variety of bottom-dwelling marine life.

Their thickened carapace provides some protection from predation.


Usually indirect sperm transfer, females carry bright orange eggs on their undersides until the eggs turn brown and hatch, releasing the larvae.

Additional Information

Recreational Regulations
Unregulated; however, egg bearing females must be released.

Image credit: Casey Butler