olive squat lobster

Paul Naylor

Olive squat lobster

Scientific name: Galathea squamifera
These feisty crustaceans are the ‘Houdinis’ of the rocky shore, evading capture as soon as disturbed!

Species information

Statistics

Up to 6cm long (including tail)

Conservation status

Very common around the UK, except for the NE coasts of Scotland & England. Common in North East Atlantic down to the Canary Islands and into the Mediterranean.

When to see

April to October

About

Olive squat lobsters are very common on the rocky shore, although they spend most of their time hiding under stones and boulders on the lower shore and in shallow water. When disturbed, they will use their tail to clap themselves backwards and escape.

How to identify

This species is much smaller than the spiny squat lobster, with an olive brown body, with paler green lines across the body. Two long, brown claws stick out in front, with large spikes along their insides.

Distribution

Very common around the UK, except for the NE coasts of Scotland & England. Common in NE Atlantic down to the Canary Islands and into the Mediterranean.

Did you know?

Squat lobsters are more closely related to hermit crabs than they are to true crabs or lobsters!

How people can help

Always follow the Seashore Code when rockpooling, taking care where you walk and making sure you put animals and rocks back gently.

How you can help

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