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H. Milne Edwards, 1837

Diagnosis:
Palm of first chelipeds naked, without hair cover. Left and right first chelipeds strongly different in shape. Rostrum as a rule with one or more ventral teeth. Large species, attaining lengths of 40 to 65 cm.

Type:
Type locality of A. marinus Say and H. americanus H. Milne Edwards: "Long-branch, part of the coast of New Jersey" (Say, 1817: 166), USA. Lectotype, if extant, in ANSP (not located in 1989); paratype(s) in MP.
Type locality of H. mainensis: "Maine waters",. No types indicated.

Geographical Distribution:
Western Atlantic: Atlantic coast of North America betweenNewfoundland (Canada) and North Carolina (USA).

Habitat and Biology:
Sublittoral to 480 m depth, most common between 4 and 50 m Hard bottom (hard mud, rocks). As the females carry their eggs for 10 to 11 months, ovigerous females are found throughout the year. Migration does not occur" or only on a limited scale.

Size:
Maximum total body length 64 cm, usually around 25 cm or less. This probably is, with Jasus verreauxi, the largest known Decapod species as far as body length is concerned.

Interest to Fisheries:
The species is the subject of one of the most important Crustacea fisheries in the northwest Atlantic. According to FAO statistics" the catches in 1987 and 1988 amounted to 60 096 and 62 457 tons" respectively. Theanimals are mostly caught with traps" but in recent years trawling proved to be commercially feasible, especially in the southern part of the range of the species. These lobsters are sold fresh or frozen. The meat is also canned.

American lobster (Homarus americanus)