California Spiny Lobster
Kelp forests and surfgrass beds.
This species of spiny lobster is often encountered in rocky dens or in beds of surfgrass at relatively shallow depths. As highly prized targets for fishermen and divers, most California spiny lobsters do not live longer than 5-7 years before being caught. They have been known to achieve lengths of over 3 feet long and weighing 16 pounds.
As predators, lobsters play a central role in maintaining the diversity of intertidal and subtidal communities. Predation on kelp-eating species such as sea urchins helps to maintain a balance in the kelp forest ecosystem, providing a more stable habitat for other species that rely on the kelp for food and shelter. The kelp forests of the Channel Islands offer an excellent rocky habitat for their pelagic larvae arriving with the converging currents from the south.
Last updated: July 23, 2015