The Spotted Spiny Lobster has to be one of my favourite lobster species (Panulirus guttatus) with its beautifully spotted body and very elusive nature. During the day it hides deep with reef recesses, only coming out at night to feed and breed. Known locally in Anguilla as the ‘Crayfish’, it has become known as a delicacy and highly sought after by local fishers. Over recent years, probably in part due to reduced catches using tradition Antillean Arrowhead traps, many fishers now ‘crawl’ for this species at night, snorkelling with a torch, leather glove and a v-shaped fork that they use to pin down foraging adults. Ingenious, but having been out there with them while they do this, I have to say one easily imagines shadows looming out from the dark depths at night. Don’t forget to take your nerve with you!
Originally posted on instagram @sea_anguilla with the text: Spotted Spiny Lobster on the inner reef near Island Harbour. This was an amazing find but can you see why? Clue: It has transparent eyes…..they should be black. It is actually a perfectly intact exoskeleton left behind after molting, and positioned as if walking around minding its own business. This species of Lobster, known locally in Anguilla as a Crayfish, is probably one of the most popular dishes on the island. Fresh seafood at its best.