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Panulirus versicolor
Image courtesy of the World Register of Marine Species (Author: Tin-Yam Chan), via Creative Commons (CC) BY-NC-SA license
Panulirus versicolor
Taxonomic Group: Crustaceans-Lobsters


Panulirus versicolor, commonly known as the Painted Spiny Lobster, is native to the Indo-Pacific. Its distribution spans from the Red Sea to South Africa, southern Japan, northern Australia, Micronesia and Polynesia. In August 2012, one specimen was caught in the Brunswick River, Georgia, the first reported non-native occurrence of this lobster. This species is found in rocky habitats and coral reefs from the low-tide mark to 15 m depth. In its native range it is locally fished and harvested for the aquarium trade. It is a popular aquarium species because of its striking coloration. Its introduction in Georgia may be from an aquarium release or through ballast water, as the specimen was caught 500 m from a cargo-ship dock.

*This species is not currently established in North American waters.

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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