Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Malacostraca Decapoda Polychelidae

Scientific Name: Stereomastis sculpta
Species Authority: (Smith, 1880)
Common Name(s):
English Flatback Lobster
Polycheles sculptus Smith, 1880

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-12-03
Assessor(s): 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.
Stereomastis sculpta is assessed as Least Concern because it has a very large distribution across the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans; lives at great depths and is not being impacted by any major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found across the globe, including the Mediterranean, down to the Canary Islands and Mauritania, the Cape Verde Islands, West Africa, South Africa, East Africa, Comoros Islands and Madagascar (Galil 2000). In the Atlantic, this species is known from USA, Canada, Iceland and the Labrador Sea, down to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea and also as far as Guyana and Chile (Galil 2000). Additionally it is present in the waters off Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, China Sea up to Japan and Taiwan (Galil 2000, Ahyong and Chan 2004, Ahyong and Galil 2006). It has been recorded in the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka and Gulf of Aden (Galil 2000).
Countries occurrence:
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Australia; Bahamas; Barbados; Benin; Bermuda; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Saba, Sint Eustatius); Cameroon; Canada; Cape Verde; Cayman Islands; Chile; Colombia; Comoros; Costa Rica; Côte d'Ivoire; Cuba; Curaçao; Djibouti; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Fiji; Ghana; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Iceland; Indonesia; Jamaica; Japan; Kenya; Liberia; Madagascar; Malaysia; Martinique; Mauritania; Montserrat; Mozambique; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Oman; Panama; Philippines; Puerto Rico; Saint Barthélemy; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin (French part); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Senegal; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); Somalia; South Africa; Spain (Canary Is.); Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States; Vanuatu; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – eastern central; Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – western central; Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Lower depth limit (metres): 4000
Upper depth limit (metres): 200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is described as abundant in the Catalan sea, western Mediterranean and the Mexican Gulf (Cartes and Sardia 1993, Wicksten and Packard 2005).
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species has been found on muddy substrates off the coast of Ireland and a Chilean methane seep area (ERT Scotland Ltd 2007, Sellanes et al. 2008).  It is found between depths of 200 and 4,000 m.
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species faces no major threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no specific conservation measures in place for this species.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.6. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Muddy
suitability: Suitable  
11. Marine Deep Benthic -> 11.1. Marine Deep Benthic - Continental Slope/Bathyl Zone (200-4,000m) -> 11.1.2. Soft Substrate
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

Ahyong, S.T. and Chan, T.-Y. 2004. Polychelid Lobsters Of Taiwan (Decapoda: Polychelidae). The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 52(1): 171-182.

Ahyong, S.T. and Galil, B.S. 2006. Polychelidae from the southern and western Pacific (Decapoda, Polychelida). Zoosystema 28(3): 757-767.

Cartes, J.E. and Sardia, F. 1993. Zonation of deep-sea decapod fauna in the Catalan Sea (Western Mediterranean). Marine Biology Progress Series 94: 27-34.

Galil, B. 2000. Crustacea Decapoda: Review of the Genera and Species of the family Polychelidae Wood-mason 1874. In: Crosnier, A. (ed.), Resultat des Campagnes Musorstom, pp. 285-387. Paris.

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

Sellanes J., Quiroga E., Neira C. 2008. Megafaunal community structure and trophic relationships of the recently discovered Concepción Methane Seep Area (Chile). ICES Journal of Marine Sciences 65: 1102-1111.

Wicksten, M.K. and Packard, J.M. 2005. A qualitative zoogeographic analysis of decapod crustaceans of the continental slopes and abyssal plain of the Gulf of Mexico. Deep-Sea Research I 52: 1745-1765.

Citation: Chan, T.Y. 2013. Stereomastis sculpta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T185012A8347162. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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