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Characteristics, distribution and ecology
Taxonomische classification
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Kubo, 1963

Anterior margin of carapace as well as inner margin of frontal horns with several distinct spines; no median spine present. Epistome with three tubercles on anteromedian margin; anterolateral corner without spine.

Type locality: "Shallow waters in the vicinity of Wagu, Mie Prefecture", Honshu, Japan; whereabouts of holotype male unknown.

Geographical Distribution:
Indo-West Pacific region. The species so far is only known from Honshu Island, Japan, viz. from Wagu and Kii-nagashima, both Mie Prefecture, and from Sagami Bay. Sekiguchi and Okubo (1986) mentioned 15 specimens from the east and south coast of Kii peninsula (Mie and Yamagata prefectures) without giving precise localities. What is believed to be this species has been reported under the name P. mossambicus from S.W. India and the Philippines (Sulu Sea). In the Zoological Museum at Copenhagen there is a juvenile (cl 8 mm) from the Bay of Amboina (Moluccas, Indonesia). Specimens from the Andaman Sea near Ranong, Thailand, are present in Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok and RMNH.

Habitat and Biology:
Reported from rather shallow water in Japan, where it sometimes is caught in lobster trap nets. The specimens from India and the Philippines were taken in depths between 72 and 84 m, the juvenile from Amboina came from a depth of "ca. 100 fms" (about 180 m), from a stony bottom. Some data on the biology and body posture rare published by Sekiguchi and Okubo (1986).

Total body length 5 to 10 cm, carapace length 0.8to 3.2 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
In Japan there is no commercial fishery for this relatively rare species, but fishermen obtaining specimens in their lobster nets (which in Japan can only be legally used from October to April), often give or sell these specimens to the public aquaria on the Japanese east coast. George (1973), however, reported that the species, he had indicated as P. mossambicus, has been obtained in large numbers from certain localities in India and that it may be the object of a fishery there (Kurian and Sebastian, 1982: 162).

The taxonomic status of this species vis à vis P. mossambicus is far from clear, and a closer study of the complex is highly desirable.

Japanese blunthorn lobster (Palinustus waguensis)