Lobster (lat. Achelata, fr. langouste) ten-legged cancer. There are about 140 species, and 72 of them belong to fossil species. Outwardly, it is very similar to crayfish and lobster, but has a significant difference. The spiny lobster does not have claws, however, its shell is harder than that of other crustaceans. The main feature is the cardiac structure. The structure of heart tissues is symplantic cells do not have nuclei and boundaries between them. Thanks to this structure, the metabolism in the body of a crustacean and decapods in general is accelerated many times over in comparison with crustaceans with a different cardiac structure.
Decapod crustaceans have their own classification, determined on the basis of the appearance of the limbs and structure. Therefore, the detachment of decapod crayfish is divided into two suborders: dendrobranciata, includes all shrimps, and pleocyemata, this includes other representatives of crustaceans.
Representatives of this suborder are predominantly distinguished by their inability or inclination to swim they walk along the bottom.
For the most part, decapods are an object of fishing because of their palatability and nutritional value. But these crayfish are also among the oldest representatives of the fauna on the planet: thanks to their high adaptability and secretive lifestyle, they have survived almost unchanged since ancient times.
The most common species of spiny lobsters are the needle lobster and the Pacific spiny lobster.
The variety is determined by the number of limbs. The crustacean consists of 7 segments of the thoracic cavity and 6 on the abdomen. Body covered with chitin. The digestive system consists of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the stomach and short intestines.
They are large representatives of the family up to 50-60 cm long, weighing up to 4 kg. The body is covered with a shell of chitin. Such a shell is quite thick and durable compared to other crustaceans. The body consists of a head and a tail. The head has three pairs of whiskers, which are highly sensitive. With the help of the longest whiskers, the animal searches for prey, feels danger. The second and third pair of whiskers, shorter and thinner, less sensitive, they are great help in finding prey that hid in the sand. All whiskers are covered with keratinized thorns. The structure of the tail of crustaceans is similar to the structure of the tail of ordinary crayfish. It consists of two movable segments that help it move in the water. The tail end is covered with a chitinous process that serves as a balancer.
The color of spiny lobsters depends on the habitat, nutrition, variety of spiny lobster, water temperature, age of the individual, state of health.
In most cases, spiny lobsters are covered with a creamy, red, light red chitinous cover. Individuals living at the deep bottom have a pale green color. Lobster, living in tropical waters, is painted in bright red or bright blue.
Where does it live
The crustacean inhabits warm waters, sometimes it can be found in cold seas.
The lobster fishery is concentrated in the eastern Atlantic, southwestern Norway, Morocco, the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea of Azov, and the Canary Islands. The spiny lobster loves to settle in coastal waters, not far from the continents and islands, near coral reefs and numerous rocks. Such a house allows the lobster to comfortably exist, hiding in their shelters, and hunt.
Does not like great depth, settles at a depth of less than 200 m. Lobster lobsters are solitary, because of this, their production on a large scale is complicated. The complexity of the fishery is the fact that the crayfish likes to burrow into the sand, hides in corals and various crevices, where it is very difficult for a person to reach. An experienced diver can get a lobster by hand, taking it out of the shelter.
How to eat
Has an excellent appetite, gluttonous. The absence of claws does not allow hunting in the same way as relatives of the family. In this regard, crustaceans eat everything that is at the bottom: mussels, small fish, medium-sized invertebrates, small octopuses, cuttlefish, worms. Sensitive long whiskers help him notice prey, short whiskers determine when to make a dash. With the help of a swift jerk, the crustacean grabs a fish or mollusk. The victim either dies immediately, from a blow, or when digested, alive. Having caught and eaten prey, lobsters continue to hunt, waiting for a meeting with a new victim.
Inhabited at the bottom, lead a secretive lifestyle. Do not live in groups or flocks. Active after dark, preferring to hunt at night. They lack aggression. The lobster has absolutely no protection against the rest of the inhabitants of the water world. Horny sharp outgrowths of the shell can act as protection, but the absence of claws makes the animal very vulnerable.
How they breed
Spiny lobster reproduces sexually. Cancer becomes sexually mature at the age of five. They breed from autumn to the beginning of winter, although this period may begin earlier if there is warm water in the reservoir.
The female has a special breast bag where she lays small eggs. The female rushes in search of the male, carrying with her a bag with unfertilized eggs. When individuals meet, the eggs are fertilized. For several months, the eggs remain in the bag, then the hatching process takes place. The small lobsters that were born look like white translucent spiders with small tails. The offspring feed on small representatives of zooplankton drifting in the reservoir. Young individuals grow rapidly, after molting they become older. Molting contributes to the thickening of the chitinous cover and adds weight to the individual. A year later, the chitinous coating finally acquires hardness and density, keratinized growths appear on it.
There are enough of them on the planet, since there are no large-scale catches of crustaceans. In large numbers they can be found in restaurants, in special aquariums, where they are bred for cooking. The meat has a delicate taste and contains many useful substances, its cost is quite high. In order to catch the lobster, a special cage with meat is lowered into its habitat, and the smell of the lobster climbs into the cage. Then the door slams shut and rises out of the water.
Natural enemies of the spiny lobster
Lobsters are hunted by anyone who can bite through their shell, or those who swallow them whole.
Predators that threaten the spiny lobster reef shark, hammerhead shark, octopus.
They have an amazing ability to throw away a limb that is grabbed by the enemy. Over time, the lost limb grows back.
How to cook
Lobster is considered a delicacy product, a favorite of gourmets and connoisseurs of haute cuisine. It is distinguished by exquisite taste, juicy, tender meat. Crustacean meat has a high price in the market and supermarket. It tastes very similar to lobster meat, only a little more tender and softer.
Lobsters can be fried, boiled and stewed. Great for making gourmet soups and sauces.
Live crustaceans are boiled alive. To do this, they are washed in ordinary water, excess debris is removed and thrown into boiling water. After 10-20 minutes, the lobster must be removed from boiling water. Ready red lobster.
How they eat:
Lobster is a perishable product, so it is recommended to store it only in the refrigerator.
Lobster or langoustine?
Lobsters in the class of crustaceans have such a representative as langoustine. Despite the consonant name, langoustine has significant differences in appearance, size, habitat. These are small creatures, the largest representative of which grows up to 20-25 cm, having claws.
How to choose
Spiny lobsters are sold frozen, boiled, canned and fresh. There are a number of signs that help determine the freshness of the product: