At under 7cm long, the dorsoventrally flattened body of the common squat lobster ranges from maroon to sea green in colour, and is fringed with small spines. The first pair of pereopods (legs) are elongated and tipped with robust claws. The common squat lobster falls into the false crab category (anomurans).
These nocturnally active crustaceans are found in extremely low shore and sub-littoral environments. They are often tucked into small crevices and under rocks.When disturbed, the squat lobster beats a hasty retreat using snapping motions of its tail.
The common squat lobster is a filter feeder and a scavenger, eating both vegetable and animal matter from its environment. Occasionally, it may use its claws to catch small prey.
The Rock Pool Project:
The common squat lobster is a commonly recorded species, thanks to our crustacean surveyors. This species has been recorded at 9 of our survey sites so far.