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Synonyms
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  • Palinurus ricordi  Guérin-Méneville, 1836
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  • Palinurus americanus  H. Milne Edwards, 1837
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  • Palinurus(Senex) argus  Pleffer, 1881
    FAO Names
    En - Caribbean spiny lobster, Fr - Langouste blanche, Sp - Langosta común del Caribe.
    3Alpha Code: SLC     Taxonomic Code: 2290100108
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Panulirus argus  Latreille, 1804, Annales Muséum Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 3:393.
    Geographical Distribution

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    Western Atlantic: Bermuda and the east coast of USA at North Carolina, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, including the entire Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Reported twice from West Africa (Ivory Coast).
    Habitat and Biology
    Inhabits shallow waters, occasionally down to 90 m depth, perhaps even deeper.Found among rocks, on reefs, in eelgrass beds or in any habitat that provides protection.The species is gregarious and migratory.
    Females move to deeper water for spawning and there are mass migrations in the autumn when the animals, in single files of up to 50 individuals, move in a certain direction in daytime, each animal having body contact with the next through the antennae. In the northern part of its range, larvae are found mainly from June to December. 
    Size
    Maximum body length about 45 cm, average length to about 20 cm.
    Interest to Fisheries
    This is the most important commercial Palinurid in American waters. It is fished practically throughout its range. The catches of this species reported in the FAO Yearbook of Fisheries Statistics amounted to 32 854 t in 1987 and 33 903 t in 1988, taken mainly by Cuba, Brazil, Bahamas, USA and Honduras. The species is mostly caught with traps, but also taken by hand, speared and trawled.
    It is marketed fresh; the tails are exported frozen or canned.The reported world catch for 1996 was 37 723 t. The countries with the largest landings were Cuba (9 375 t.), Brazil (8 026 t), and Bahamas (7 938 t).
    Local Names
    ARUBA : Kreef .
    CURACAO : Kreef .
    CUBA : Langosta .
    FRANCE : Langouste d'Amérique ,  Langouste américaine ,  Langouste argus .
    MEXICO : Langosta del Golfo .
    USA : Spiny lobster ,  Bermuda spiny lobster ,  Common spiny lobster ,  Crawfish ,  Florida spiny lobster ,  West Indian langouste ,  West Indian spiny lobster .
    Source of Information
    FAO species catalogue Vol. 13. Marine lobsters of the world An annotated and illustrated catalogue of species of interest to fisheries known to dateL. B. Holthuis 1991.  FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125, Vol. 13
    Bibliography
    Fischer (ed.), 1978: vol. 6
    Williams, 1986:19, figs 44, 79 b,c.
     
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