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Macpherson, 1990

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 dorsal surface of abdominal somites smooth and naked. Second to fifth abdominal somites with marked dorsomedian carina, flanked by pair of conspicuous longitudinal grooves. Fifth abdominal somite without distinct spines on carina separating tergite from pleuron. Dorsomedian carina of sixth abdominal somite almost level with dorsal surface of somite, without grooves at either side. Spine in middle of lateral margin of sixth abdominal somite short, tip far from posterolateral margin of somite.

Type:
Type locality: South east of Madagascar, "23°36.0'5-43°31.6'E, 395-410 m". Male holotype, MP no. AS 457; femaleallotype, MP no. AS 458.

Geographical Distribution:
Indo-West Pacific region: off E. Africa (from Kenya to Natal), Madagascar.

Habitat and Biology:
Depth range from 200 to 750 m, most common between 400 and 500 m. Ovigerous females between December and June.

Size:
Maximum total length: 20.5 cm (male), 20 cm (female). Carapace length 4.5 to 8.8 cm (males), 3.7 to 8.3 cm (females).

Interest to Fisheries:
The species is trawled in commercial quantities off the South African east coast between Durban and Bazaruto with specially designed "balloon ballerina" nets to dig them out of the mud. According to FAO statistics, the catches of this species (under the previous name of M. andamanicus) in South Africa in 1987 and 1988 amounted to 270 and 298 metric tons respectively. Crosnier and Jouannic (1973), reported catches of 5 kg/hr of this species made near Madagascar.

Remarks:
Before 1990 specimens of the present species were usually considered to belong to M. andamanicus.

African lobster (Metanephrops mozambicus)