Scyllarus arctus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Malacostraca Decapoda Scyllaridae

Scientific Name: Scyllarus arctus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Small European Locust Lobster
Cancer arctus Linnaeus, 1758

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2009-12-03
Assessor(s): Butler, M., MacDiarmid, A., Wahle, R., Cockcroft, A. & Chan, T.Y.
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.

Scyllarus arctus has a wide distribution. It is harvested throughout its range, and known to be over-exploited locally in some regions. Although there have been these declines, the ecological characteristics of slipper lobsters make them resistant to extinction as they are highly fecund with well connected populations via long-lived larvae. Monitoring of harvest levels should be carried out to check for possible increases in fishing, together with stricter enforcement of current management regimes. This species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is distributed throughout the Mediterranean and in the Eastern Atlantic (Holthuis 1991). In the Eastern Atlantic, it is known from the south coast of the United Kingdom down to the Canary Islands, and includes the Azores and Madeira (Holthuis 1991).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt (Egypt (African part)); France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Gibraltar; Greece (East Aegean Is., Greece (mainland), Kriti); Guernsey; Israel; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Jersey; Lebanon; Libya; Montenegro; Morocco; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Portugal (Azores, Madeira, Portugal (mainland)); Slovenia; Spain (Baleares, Canary Is., Spain (mainland), Spanish North African Territories); Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; United Kingdom (Great Britain); Western Sahara
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):50
Upper depth limit (metres):4
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


There is no overall population information available for this species. However, this species has experienced a local decline in Cape Creus, Spain, where it was previously caught in small quantities, but now it is considered to be 'very rare' (Linares 2008 in Lloret and Riera 2008). In contrast, it is described as one of the common marine species off the Lebanese coast (Majdalani 2004).

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found at depths of 4-50 m (Holthuis 1991). This species inhabits mud and rock substrates, but can also be found in fields of Posidonia species (Holthuis 1991). It has also been found in artificial reefs and areas designated to the 'protection of the Posidonia meadows from illegal trawling and, if possible, restore it to its past size' (Relini et al. 2007).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Although it is on sale at local markets, it is deemed not to be economically viable to commercially harvest this species (Holthuis 1991). This species can be caught in 'gill nets, trawls, dredges, traps and seines as by-catch and is also hand caught by divers (Hotlhuis 1991). Therefore the interest of this species to fisheries is classified as minor (Holthuis 1991). Historically this species has been harvested in 'small quantities' by artisan fishermen in Cape Creus, Spain, but is now described as 'very rare' (Linares 2008 in Lloret and Riera 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened locally by habitat loss due to decreasing Posidonia fields, and also by over-fishing by hand in some areas (Holthuis 1991, Relini et al. 2007), but this is not considered a major threat to the species over its entire range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

This species has been listed by the Council of Europe as a protected species in the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Council of Europe 1979).

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.2. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.6. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Muddy
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.9. Marine Neritic - Seagrass (Submerged)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Council of Europe. 1979. Convention On The Conservation Of European Wildlife And Natural Habitats. Bern.

de Haan, W. 1833-1850. Crustacea. In: de Siebold, P.F. (ed.), Fauna Japonica sive descriptio animalium, quae in itinere per Japoniam, jussu et auspiciis superiorum, qui summum in India Batava Imperium tentent, suscepto, annis 1823-1830 collegit, notis, observationibus et adumbrationibus illustravit:, pp. ix-xvi, vii-xvii, i-xxxi,1-243,.

Herbst, J.F.W. 1791-1796. Versuch einer Naturgeschichte der Krabben und Krebse nebst einer systematischen Beschreibung ihrer verschiedenen Arten.

Holthuis, L.B. 1977. Two new species of scyllarid lobsters (Crustacea Decapoda, Palinuridea) from Australia and the Kermadic Islands, New Zealand. Zoologische Mededelingen, Leiden, 52: 191-200.

Holthuis, L.B. 1985. A revision of the family Scyllaridae (Crustacea: Decapoda: Macrura). I. Subfamily Ibacinae. Zoölogische Verhandelingen, Leiden, 218: 1-130.

Holthuis, L.B. 1991. Marine lobsters of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of species of interest to fisheries known to date. FAO species catalogue 13(125). FAO, Rome.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.1). Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2017).

Leach, W.E. 1814. Crustaceology. In: Brewster, D. (ed.), The Edinburgh Encyclopaedia, pp. 383-437.

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordinus, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Impensis Direct, Laurentii Salvii, Holmiae.

Lloret J. and Riera V. 2008. Evolution of a Mediterranean Coastal Zone: Human Impacts on the Marine Environment of Cape Creus. Environmental Management 42: 977-988.

Lukis, F.C. 1835. Illustrations of a species? Phyllosòma Leach and Latreille, or of an undescribed genus allied to Phyllosòma; and of Squilla Desmaresii Risso; as observed in a living individual of each, taken on the coast of Guernsey. Magazine natural History 8: 459-464.

Majdalani, S. 2004. The present status of fishery and information system in Lebanon. MedFisis Technical Document No. 4.1:.

Relini, G., Relini M., Palandri, G., Merello, S. and Beccornia, E. 2007. History, ecology and trends for artificial reefs of the Ligurian sea, Italy. Hydrobiologia 580: 193–217.

Risso, A. 1816. Histoire naturelle des Crustacés des environs de Nice.

Risso, A. 1827. Histoire naturelle des pricipales productions de l'Europe méridionale. 5(i-vii): 1-403.

Sarato, C. 1885. Études sur les Crustacés de Nice. Genre Arctus, Dana; Sous-genre Nisto. Nob. Moniteur des etrangers de Nice 9(216): 3.

Citation: Butler, M., MacDiarmid, A., Wahle, R., Cockcroft, A. & Chan, T.Y. 2011. Scyllarus arctus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T169949A6690609. . Downloaded on 24 June 2018.
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