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Chan and Yu, 1991

Diagnosis:
Carapace smooth between ridges and large spines. Postrostral carinae with three teeth. Chelae of first pereiopods heavily ridged and spinulose, without large spines. No prominent basal spine on outer edge of movable finger of large chela. Inner margin of merus of first pereiopod weakly spinulose. Surface of abdominal tergites conspicuously sculptured. Raised parts of abdominal somites coarse and pubescent. Fifth abdominal somite without distinct spines on carina separating tergite from pleuron. Dorsomedian carina of sixth abdominal somite without submedian spines. Spine in middle of lateral margin of sixth abdominal somite short, tip far from posterolateral margin of somite.

Type:
Type locality: "Philippines, 13°51'N 120°30'E, 300-330 m". Male holotype, NTOU no. PM 1. Paratypes MP, RMNH, USNM, WAM.

Geographical Distribution:
Indo-West Pacific region: Philippines (south-west of Luzon), Western Australia (Cape Leveque to Eucla).

Habitat and Biology:
Depth range 238 to 702 m, most common at 350 to 450 m. Substrate hard mud.

Size:
Carapace length: 3-8.6 cm (males), 2-7.4 cm (females), 4.7-8.2 cm (ovigerous females).

Interest to Fisheries:
"M. velutinus, which appears slightly larger than M. armatus, is fished commercially on the North West Shelf of Australia since 1985 (Wallner and Phillips, 1988, under the name of M. andamanicus). Its price is higher than that of the spiny lobsters in Australia and many are used for export; however, the demand of the local markets has greatly increased recently (Bremner, 1985; Ward, Phillips pers.comm.). However, probably due to the low recovery rate of this lobster and the fact that the fishing gear is more selective for ovigerous females, the catch of the species has fallen significantly in the last few years (Wallner and Phillips, 1988)" (Chan and Yu, 1991: 38).

Remarks:
Until 1991 specimens of this species were, often with some doubt, identified as M. andamanicus.

Velvet lobster (Metanephrops velutinus)