A rather large lobster. Body cylindrical, completely covered with small spines and sharp tubercles; carapace with a well developed median rostrum which is laterally compressed with dorsal and ventral, but no lateral teeth. Eyes very small, lacking pigment; antennae long and whip-like; antennal scales well developed. Tail powerful, with a well developed tail fan. First three pairs of pereiopods ending in true chelae. The first pair equal, very slender, longer than the body, covered with sharp spinules and ending in elongate and slender fingers with long teeth on cutting edges,but without hairs. Fingers of first cheliped 1.5 to twice as long as palm. Second pair of pereiopods very much longer and less spiny than third pair.
Type locality of Acanthacaris tenuimana: "Challenger" Station 191, "lat. 5°41'S., long. 134°4'30" E., south of New Guinea; depth, 800 fathoms (= 1463 m); bottom, green mud"- Holotype in BM, no. 88.22 (in alcohol, condition fair).
Type locality of Phoberus caecus sublevis: "Investigator" "Station 105, 740 fathoms" ( = "Laccadive Sea, off Goa coast, lat. 15°02'N, long. 72°34'E., 740 fms [= 1353 m]. Grey ooze, coral mud, and 12.5 per cent Foraminifera"). Holotype in ZSI, preserved in alcohol, condition poor.
Type locality of Acanthacaris opipara: "South-west part of the Indian Ocean" near "Durban; 29°57'6"- 29°52'5"S., 31°46'2"-31°52'5"E, depth 830-850 m". Depository of holotype unknown.
Type locality of Phoberus brevirostris: " 29°00'-30' N, 127°00'-30'E, 300-900 m deep, East China Sea". Holotype male (no. 81015) and 2 paratype males (nos. 81016 and 81006) in Donghai Fisheries Research Institute, Shanghai, and Biological Department of Hangzhou University, Hangzhou, China.
Indo-West Pacific area (Natal, Mozambique, Madagascar, Laccadive Islands, Japan, Philippines, South China Sea, Indonesia, New Caledonia).
Habitat and Biology:
Deep sea, from 600 to 1670 m. Muddy bottom.
Maximum known total length 40 cm, carapace length 2-21 cm; ovigerous females, cl. 11-l9 cm.
Interest to Fisheries:
So far none. The species is taken incidentally in trawls, but so far too rarely and in too small quantities to be of commercial interest. The large size of the specimens might make fishing economically attractive, once the appropriate gear and proper localities where sufficient quantities occur have been found.
The taxonomy of the species is not clear. It is possible that 2 forms may have to be distinguished: A. sublevis Wood-Mason, 1891 (with a synonym A. opipara Burukovsky and Musy, 1976) from the Indian Ocean, and A. tenuimanas.s from the eastern part of the present range. More material will have to decide this question.