Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Malacostraca Decapoda Enoplometopidae

Scientific Name: Enoplometopus debelius
Species Authority: Holthuis, 1983
Common Name(s):
English Violet-spotted Reef Lobster, Debelius's Dwarf Reef Lobster

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-12-03
Assessor(s): Chan, T.Y. & Wahle, R.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B., Livingstone, S. & Richman, N.
Contributor(s): Batchelor, A., De Silva, R., Dyer, E., Kasthala, G., Lutz, M.L., McGuinness, S., Milligan, H.T., Soulsby, A.-M. & Whitton, F.
Enoplometopus debelius has been assessed as Data Deficient. It is known from Indonesia, New Caledonia, Hawaii and possibly Japan and it is considered to be uncommon. This is a highly prized species in the aquarium trade industry; however no regulations are in place to manage the collection of wild specimens. No catch data  is available for this species. Further research is required to establish its population size and the potential effects of harvesting on this species’ population.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in the western Pacific (Chan and Ng 2008). It is known to occur in Indonesia, New Caledonia, Hawaii, and possibly Japan (Holthuis 1983, Chan 1998, Poupin 2003).
Countries occurrence:
Indonesia; New Caledonia; United States (Hawaiian Is.)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Lower depth limit (metres):25
Upper depth limit (metres):12
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no population information available for this species, however it is considered to be uncommon (Chan 1998).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits rocky reefs and is found at depths of 12-25 m (Chan 1998, Poupin 2003).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is collected for the aquarium trade (T.Y. Chan pers. comm. 2009).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This is a highly prized and very popular species in the aquarium trade industry (Chan 1998, Calado et al. 2003). The average commercial value of this species is $25 U.S. (Calado et al. 2003). Specimens are collected from wild populations by hand nets during night dives (Chan 1998). Most specimens exported for the aquarium trade are from Indonesia (Chan 1998); however, no catch data for this species is available and it is unknown if the harvesting of wild specimens has any significant effects on its population size.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. Only a few countries have implemented regulations on the collection of ornamental decapods and further research is needed to improve our understanding of species’ reproductive biology, growth and population structure to ensure that appropriate conservation measures can be put in place (Calado et al. 2003). No catch data for this species is available and this species is considered to be uncommon (Chan 1998). Further research is required to establish its population size and the potential effects of harvesting on this species’ population.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.2. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Unknown ♦ severity: Unknown ⇒ Impact score: Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓   National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Calado, R., Lin, J., Rhyne, A.L., Araújo, R. and Narciso, L. 2003. Marine Ornamental Decapods: Popular, Pricey, and Poorly Studied. Journal of Crustacean Biology 23(4): 963-973.

Chan, T.Y. 1998. Lobsters. FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Vol. 2. Cephalopods, crustaceans, holothurians and sharks: 973-1044.

Chan, T.-Y. and Ng, P.K.L. 2008. Enoplometopus A. Milne-Edwards, 1862 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Nephropoidea) from the Philippines, with description of one new species and a revised key to the genus. Bulletin of Marine Science 83(2): 347-365.

Holthuis, L.B. 1983. Notes on the genus Enoplometopus with descriptions of a new subgenus and two new species (Crustacea Decapoda Axiidae). Zoologische Mededelingen 56(22): 281-298.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.1). Available at: (Accessed: 16 June 2011).

Poupin, J. 2003. Crustacea Decapoda and Stomatopoda of Easter Island and surrounding areas. A documented checklist with historical overview and biogeographic comments. Atoll Research Bulletin. National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

Citation: Chan, T.Y. & Wahle, R. 2013. Enoplometopus debelius. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T184998A8342280. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided