Scyllarus pygmaeus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Malacostraca Decapoda Scyllaridae

Scientific Name: Scyllarus pygmaeus (Bate, 1888)
Common Name(s):
English Pygmy Locust Lobster
Arctus immaturus Bate, 1888
Arctus pygmaeus Bate, 1888
Scyllarus immaturus Bouvier, 1912

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2009-12-03
Assessor(s): Wahle, R., MacDiarmid, A., Cockcroft, A., Chan, T.Y. & Butler, M.
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 pygmaeus has been assessed as Least Concern. This is because it is widespread throughout the Mediterranean and deemed too small to be economically viable. It has been widely confused with S. arctus, and when caught that to be juveniles of that species. Although there is very little population information, it is not thought to be threatened.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found throughout the throughout the Mediterranean (Lindley et al. 2004); as well as the Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands and Madeira (Holthuis 1991).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt (Egypt (African part), Sinai); France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Gibraltar; Greece (East Aegean Is., Greece (mainland), Kriti); Guernsey; Israel; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Jersey; Lebanon; Libya; Malta; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Portugal (Madeira, Portugal (mainland)); Slovenia; Spain (Canary Is., Spain (mainland), Spanish North African Territories); Tunisia; Turkey (Turkey-in-Europe); Western Sahara
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – eastern central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):100
Upper depth limit (metres):5
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


There is no overall population information available for this species. This is a common species and is captured in trawl fisheries. 

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

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found between 5 and 100 metres (Holthuis 1991). This species lives on sandy and coralline substrates and Caurlerpa and Posidonia beds in the Mediterranean.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not considered to be economically viable due to its small size (Holthuis 1991). If this species is accidentally caught as by-catch it is usually considered to be a juvenile Scyllarus arctus and thrown back into the sea (Holthuis 1991). Historically, this species was harvested in small quantities by artisnal fishermen, but its now considered to be very rare (Linares 2008 in Lloret and Riera 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

It is unknown whether this species is being impacted on by any major threat processes. 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).

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). Further research into the population demographics and potential threats is suggested as these data are lacking.  

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.4. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Sandy
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.9. Marine Neritic - Seagrass (Submerged)
10. Marine Oceanic -> 10.1. Marine Oceanic - Epipelagic (0-200m)

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Bate, C.S. 1888. eport on the Crustacea Macrura collected by H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873-76. Zoology 24: i-xc, 1-942.

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

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).

Lindley, J.A., Hernandez, F.,Tejera, E., Correia, S.M. 2004. Phyllosoma larvae (Decapoda: Palinuridea) of the Cape Verde Islands. Journal of Plankton Research 26(2): 235–240.

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.

Citation: Wahle, R., MacDiarmid, A., Cockcroft, A., Chan, T.Y. & Butler, M. 2011. Scyllarus pygmaeus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T170056A6722688. . Downloaded on 21 August 2018.
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