12 Lobster Varieties

These are four steamed lobsters on a wooden table.

The image of a red crustacean presented on a huge plate at a fancy restaurant comes to mind when you think of lobsters. Lobsters are sophisticated marine crustaceans that belong to multiple genera and have a diverse variety of species.

They can be found in enormous numbers almost anywhere in the world’s oceans and even in freshwater. Lobsters are biologically immortal in the sense that their cells do not show indications of ageing. Damage to their shell, whether from rot, injury, or infection, is what eventually kills them. This brings their average lifespan to almost 50 years.

Lobsters are invertebrates that live in shallow places of the ocean and hunt for food. True (clawed) and false lobsters are the two types of lobsters (spiny). Three of its five pairs of legs, including the first, usually feature claws that are significantly bigger than the others.

Lobsters have ten legs and a strong shell that protects the softer flesh underneath. Fishermen frequently cut short their lives, and the species’ population is quickly declining in several regions of the world owing to overfishing.

Although they are most commonly found on seabeds, certain species choose to live in shallower waters. There are around 80-90 species of lobsters in total, divided into more than 15 genera.

Lobsters are often divided into distinct categories to aid identification between different species based on physical traits such as claws or water temperature.

Habitat

To others, a lobster’s habitat may appear to be on a wide platter with lemon wedges around the perimeter. In nature, however, live lobsters can be found residing in fissures, fractures, and caverns on rocky, muddy, or sandy substrates. They can be found on beaches as well as the continental shelf.

Life and Ecology

Baby lobsters are discharged as larvae into the water after being carried for a year by their mothers, where they go through many phases of growth before settling on the ocean floor. Lobsters spend the majority of their lives here, and there is plenty of food to go around.

Lobsters build tunnels in rocks or amid seagrasses to live. Lobsters must shed their shells several times throughout their lives as they go through growth spurts in order to expand.

Characteristics Common to All Lobsters

Lobsters are omnivores that feed at night, according to the Marine Education Society of Australasia. They eat a variety of vegetation, fish, and crabs. They will scavenge from dead carcasses if necessary. Lobsters are eaten by fish, seals, and crabs in addition to humans.

Because all lobsters molt or shed their shell to grow, there are hard and soft shell seasons for all lobster types. They puff up their own flesh with water after molting and creating a new carapace to extend the fragile carapace and make a roomier shell. This meat has a distinct flavor due to its high water content.

Soft Shell Season

Lobsters extend their fragile carapace and generate a roomier shell when they lose their skin and molt. The water-loaded shell has a distinct flavor that’s hard to explain. Most significantly, due of their fragility, lobsters with soft shells are incredibly difficult to transport.

As a result, they can only be eaten right after they’ve been caught, on-site, or cooked from frozen. These lobsters also have a lower meat-to-pound ratio than hard-shell lobsters. Softshell lobsters are most commonly collected between July and September.

Hard Shell Season

Hard shell lobsters are the easiest to move and keep alive. Harvesting is preferable when they’ve molted and regained their hard shell, depending on molting seasons in different places.

Lobsters are protected in several places throughout the molting season to prevent population drops. Hard shell lobsters can travel thousands of miles after being caught and yet make it to their new home alive!

Because their shells contain more flesh, they are frequently more expensive. Between September’s end and November, they are at their peak. The “Old Shell” lobster is the most severe form of a hard shell.

These haven’t shed their skin in years and can be shipped anywhere in the globe and arrive alive. These have a rougher flavor and, due to shipping costs, are frequently the most expensive.

Types of Lobster

1. Blue Lobster

These false lobsters, often known as common yabby, are actually a variety of crayfish that can be found all throughout Australia. Despite possessing a body that looks a lot like a lobster’s, these little crustaceans can live in both warm and cold water.

The common yabby has been spread to the Indian subcontinent, Southern Africa, and sections of Europe along the Mediterranean coast because of its economic success.

2. Clawed Lobsters

Because they are the most frequent lobster species, they are the ones that come to mind when you think about lobsters.

Clawed Lobsters have three pairs of claws and five pairs of walking legs. At first inspection, just two claws are visible in the front, as these are always the largest. The American and European lobsters are both clawed lobsters, and this is the species you’d find in a restaurant.

3. Squat Lobster

These colorful crustaceans, often known as langostinos in South America, aren’t actual lobsters. Instead, they resemble a hybrid of crabs, lobsters, and shrimp.

Squat lobsters have been discovered on the ocean floor in over 1,000 different species, and they’re a favorite dish in South America. Squat lobster species, such as the yeti crab, are sometimes vividly colored and closely related, making the identification of new species challenging.

4. Spiny Lobster

Spiny lobsters, so named because of their long, thick antennae, are a broad group that encompasses a variety of species with large antennae but no claws. After rainstorms, they’re also known for huge migrations. The presence of spiny lobsters in a given area is said to indicate that the local environment is flourishing.

5. Furry Lobster

If Jim Henson could invent a lobster, it would be the fuzzy lobster. The name of the group comes from the small hairs that cover the limbs of these strange creatures. Their proclivity for live among rocks and corals has earned them the moniker “coral lobsters.”

Their habitat extends over the Indian and Pacific oceans, and all members of this species have proven difficult to catch with standard traps. Fishermen must instead spear them or capture them by hand.

6. Slipper Lobsters

Slipper lobsters are similar to spiny lobsters in that they lack claws and have larger antennae. Slipper lobsters, on the other hand, are flat. In fact, these lobsters appear to have been flat pressed. Slipper lobsters, unlike other lobsters that hide among rocks, prefer to bury themselves in mud or sand during the day.

7. Pacific Lobster

A rock or spiny lobster with no discernible front claws is known as a Pacific lobster. They normally weigh between one and five pounds when harvested, although they can weigh up to fifteen pounds. They’re great places to get lobster tails, and they’re usually less expensive than cold-water lobster.

The highest harvests of these lobsters are caught during the winter months, according to PacSeaFood.com.

8. Caribbean lobsters

Caribbean lobsters can be found on the Caribbean coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, and along the coast of North America.

When the water temperature exceeds 73 degrees Fahrenheit / 23 degrees Celsius, Caribbean lobsters reproduce. Commercial fishing is done on these lobsters, particularly for their tails. Commercial fishermen can currently catch and process Caribbean lobsters up to 3 inches / 7.6 cm in size.

Their shell is tougher than that of a cold-water lobster, with grey and brown stripes and yellow dots on the tail.

9. Australian Lobsters

Australian lobsters are available all year and come in both red and green colors. They are typically found on Australia’s northwest coast.

Aside from that, this lobster is noted for having a delicate and creamy flavor. The tails weigh between 8 and 10 ounces on average.

10. South African Lobsters

There is one aspect of South African lobsters that can be perplexing. As they have long appendages and lack claws, they are clearly warm water lobsters. They do, however, live in cold water.

It takes them longer to mature than Caribbean lobsters. They’re also known for having muscular tails with a distinct flavor. This is also one of the most frequent types of lobster offered as frozen lobsters in the United States.

11. Canadian lobster

On the east coast of Canada, lobster is taken from the Atlantic. You’ll get a hard or soft shell, depending on when it’s harvested.

The lobster harvesting season in Canada is staggered in order to safeguard the lobster population during their molts in the summer. This harvesting tradition reduces dramatic decreases in the lobster population.

12. Maine lobsters

Maine lobsters, often known as New England lobsters, are prized for their succulent claw meat as well as their tails. Maine lobster is widely available in restaurants and stores, and many people consider it to be the best lobster available.

Their tail meat is exceptionally fibrous and tougher than any claw meat available, and they have a delicious saline richness. Prices vary by area, but an average store-bought price is roughly $50 per pound. If you order Maine lobster at a restaurant, the cost will be significantly higher.

Since 2011, Maine lobstermen have caught almost 100 million pounds of lobster!

Conclusion

Nothing compares to the delicious meat of a boiled or steamed entire lobster, whether it’s in a soup, lobster roll, bisque, capon magro, or a boiled or steamed whole lobster. If you’re going to invest in a lobster meal, make sure it’s something fresh that your taste buds will appreciate.

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