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(Herbst, 1792)

Diagnosis:
Palm of first cheliped covered with hairs, expecially near the lower margin. Left and right first chelipeds similar. Small species, attaining a total body length of 10 cm.

Type:
Type locality of Cancer capensis: "aus dem Kap" ( = Cape of Good Hope, South Africa)- Holotype in collection L. Spengler, Copenhagen; present where-abouts unknown, but the possibility exists that the specimen is identical with the holotype of Astacus fulvus Fabr.
Type locality of Astacus fulvus: "in Oceano". Holotype (possibly also holotype of Cancer capensis Herbst) in UZM.

Geographical Distribution:
South Africa, from Table Bay to East London, 33°55'S-33°06'5 18°22'E-27°49'E.

Habitat and Biology:
Shallow coastal waters, rock pools, etc. The extreme rarity of the species is the cause that very little is known about its habitat and biology. Old records, reporting that it is found in fresh water, are definitely incorrect.

Size:
Total body length 8 to 10 cm; carapace length 4 to 5 cm.

Interest to Fisheries:
None. The species is extremely rare. Although it lives in shallow water and in a well explored region of the globe (the marine fauna of South Africa is better known than that of any other African country), and although it is almost 200 years since it was first described, so far only 14 specimens (13 males and 1 female) are known to exist in collections. Gilchrist (1918: 46) remarked that the species "is not even known to Cape fishermen".

Remark:
According to Kornfield, Williams and Steneck (1995) this species should be placed in a new genus, Homarinus Kornfield, Williams and Steneck, 1995.

Cape lobster (Homarus capensis)