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Taxonomische classification
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(Balss, 1914)

Diagnosis:
Carapace smooth between the ridges and large spines. Longitudinal spinulose cardiac ridge absent. Chelae of first pereiopods weakly ridged and finely granular. Transverse grooves absent from abdominal tergites two to five.

Type:
Type locality: "Challenger" Station 166, between Australia and New Zealand, 38°50'5 169°20'E, 275 fathoms [ = 503 m), bottom Globigerina ooze. Two syntype females in BM, no. 88.22 (in alcohol, condition good).

Geographical Distribution:
Indo-West Pacific region. New Zealand waters: continental shelf around both North and South Islands as far east as Chatham Islands.

Habitat and Biology:
Depth range from 140 to 640 m; substrate mud or sandy mud, firm enough for burrowing.

Size:
Total body length to 25 cm, mostly between 13 and 18cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
Potential. Longhurst (1970: 301) reported the species as having "been found in promising quantities in deep water". Wear (1980: 25) considered the (still remote) possibility of culture of the species.

New Zealand lobster (Metanephrops challengeri)