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Taxonomische classification
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Holthuis, 1963

Diagnosis:
The large spines of carapace narrow, often three or four times as long as wide, not very different from the small spines. Anterior half of first abdominal somite before transverse groove entirely smooth, without sculpturation.
Squamiform sculpturation on posterior half of second to fifth abdominal somites (behind transverse groove) dense and covering entire surface, squamae arranged in four or five transverse rows.

Type:
Type locality: "Off the coast of New South Wales near Maroubra, Sydney", east coast of Australia. Holotype male in RMNH, no. D10642; paratypes in AM.

Geographical Distribution:
Australia: from Cape Naturaliste, Western Australia (at about 33°S; with a few records as far north as Dongara at 29°15'S), along the entire coast of South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria to southern New South Wales (with a few records as far north as Sydney (33°53'S) and Port Stephens (at 32°42'S).

Habitat and Biology:
Depths range from 0 to 90 m (seldom 150 m); on a rocky substrate, especially on rocky onshore and offshore reefs with sufficient hiding places. Mating and egg-laying occurs from May to July after the moult of the female; hatching between July and December or even later. The pueruli settle between May and September. The species is gregarious and nocturnal. It is carnivorous and feeds on small crustaceans, molluscs and echinoderms.

Size:
Maximum total body length about 51 cm, maximum carapace length about 20 cm. Ovigerous females about 5 to 16 cm carapace length.

Interest to Fisheries:
The species is fished for throughout its range. Before 1916, about 90% of the animals were caught in depths less than 20 m, while in 1925 fishing was carried out in depths of 65 m. Around 1966 the annual catch of the species was about 5 500 tons Recent FAO statistics do not mention the species and it is likely that its catches have been mistakenly added to those of Jasus verreauxi. Fished mostly with baited traps (lobster pots, beehive pots, or cray pots) and hoop nets. The animals are marketed fresh on local markets, cooked whole or as tails on markets farther away, and exported as frozen tails, mainly to the USA.

Southern rock lobster (Jasus novaehollandiae)