rock lobster [71k]

A type of spiny lobster, also commonly known as a "rock lobster" are tropical in origin and are a common sight on Philippine reefs. They lack the large chelipeds of other types of lobster, but have very large spiny antennae, as seen here. They generally prefer hiding places such as holes or crevices under outcroppings of coral.

Rock lobsters may be seen out in the open during the day or night, but seem to prefer the cover of night. If a diver sees one under a reef ledge and approaches cautiously, often the lobster will emerge from hiding and move toward the onlooker, as though its curiosity momentarily overcomes the instinct for self-preservation. This invariably only lasts for a minute or less-- soon it backs into its hiding place. Rock lobsters, also known affectionately in diver slang as "bugs", are usually seen alone or in pairs, but they may also congregate in large groups. One of the funniest sights a diver may witness is a parade of rock lobsters marching closely in single file, like an army of ants, across the reef bottom.

This particular lobster was photographed with a macro lens and is very small, only about two inches in length. Close examination of this photo, above the compound eye on the right side reveals what appears to be another much smaller lobster, almost invisible, that I didn't see when I caught this image.

rock or spiny lobster [102k]
lobster, overhead view [102k]
lobster #3 [118k]
lobster, large adult

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