Image Large rock lobster

TLF ID M008769

This image is a colour photograph of a rock lobster found in New Zealand. It is commonly referred to as a spiny lobster or crayfish. The lobster has two small eyes, ten legs and two long antennae. Its carapace is mainly orange, with patches of dark spots on its legs. The lobster is resting on a rocky seabed, surrounded by marine plants.

Educational details

Educational value
  • The animal shown is commonly called a crayfish, or spiny lobster. Taxonomists - scientists who group organisms - classify it as a lobster. Lobsters belong to the order Decapoda, meaning that they have ten legs. The majority of species in the order are marine, with some inhabiting freshwater habitats.
  • Lobster larvae are part of zooplankton in the open sea. Adult lobsters live in shallow rocky reefs up to 1000 metres deep. They hide in dens during the day but at night they feed, moving along specific pathways along the reef face, staying close to dens. Abdomens of lobsters are large, muscular and edible, so lobsters are commercially fished using baited pots set from small boats.
  • These lobsters are omnivorous and feed on small fish, molluscs, crustaceans, worms and some plants. They also scavenge when other food is scarce. These lobsters are hunted by seals, eels and bottom-dwelling fish such as cod and flounder.
  • A female lobster produces thousands of small orange eggs held close to the underside of the carapace. The eggs hatch after about six months and feed on smaller gelatinous zooplankton for up to 22 months. The juveniles look completely different to the adult form. They moult nine times to reach the adult form, then they migrate to shallow waters.
Year level

5; 6; 7

Topics Lobsters
Learning area
  • Science

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: University of Waikato
  • Organization: University of Waikato
  • Description: content provider
  • Address: NEW ZEALAND
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  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
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  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
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  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
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