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Scyllarid lobsters (Crustacea, Decapoda)
Lyons, W.G. (1970). Scyllarid lobsters (Crustacea, Decapoda). Memoirs Hourglass cruis. 1(4): 1-74
In: Memoirs of the Hourglass Cruises. Florida Marine Research Institute. Florida Department of Environmental Protection: St. Petersburg. ISSN 0085-0683, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Lyons, W.G.

    Five species of scyllarid lobsters were captured in a 28 month systematic sampling program on the west Florida shelf. Scyllarides nodifer and Scyllarus chacei were often captured, S. americanus and S. depressus were less abundant, and Scyllarides aequinoctialis was found only once. AlthoughScyllarus faxoni has not yet been reported from the Gulf of Mexico, it probably occurs there but little sampling has been conducted within its depth range of 229-457 m. Scyllarides nodifer occurs from the Gulf of Mexico to North Carolina and Bermuda in 2 to 91 m. The Florida Current and Gulf Stream probably prohibit distribution of the larvae southward.S. aequinoctialis occurs throughout the Caribbean and northward to Bermuda, but only rarely in the Gulf of Mexico. Scyllarus americanus is now known from the Gulf of Venezuela to North Carolina in 0 to 46 m and is common at some inshore locations off west Florida. S. chacei, abundant in samples from this program, ranges from Brazil to North Carolina in 11 to 320 m. Adult S. depressus are known from southern Brazil to North Carolina in 29 to 265 m; postlarvae occasionally occur farther north.Scyllarus depressus (Smith 1881) replaces S. nearctus Holthuis as the valid name for that species. The type of S. depressus is a postlarva dredged off Martha's Vineyard, where its occurrence is considered adventitious. Postlarvae of this species are much larger than those of S. americanus and s. chacei. Postlarvae of the latter two species may be separated by setation counts of the first pleopod. Pseudibacus gerstaeckeri is correctly assigned as the postlarva of Scyllarides aequinoctialis. Early juveniles of this species are unknown. Postlarvae of S. nodifer are smaller than those of S. aequinoctialis and strongly resemble their early juvenile stages. Fertilization in Scyllarides and Scyllarus is apparently internal. Spawning of Scyllarides nodifer is restricted to late May through early August with a larval period of eight to nine months. Scyllarus americanus, S. chacei, and S. depressus spawn throughout the year, most heavily during spring and early summer; juveniles are similar to adults in relative morphometry. Young Scyllarides nodifer have carapace widths greater than carapace lengths, a condition reversed in adults. Epizooic commensals and predators of western Atlantic scyllarids are noted and discussed. Scyllarides nodifer entered three types of wood and wire traps used in an exploratory fishing program. A trapping fishery for this species offshore from Tampa Bay does not appear economically feasible, but results indicate that catches might be better off Ft. Myers and farther south.

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