Slipper Lobster

© Johan Boshoff

Common family name

Slipper lobster

Scientific family name



Slipper lobsters grow to an average of 25 cm, though they have been recorded to grow to double that (50 cm).


The slipper lobsters most notable identifier is a set of enlarged shovel-like antennae. As is typical of lobsters, they have elongated bodies and five pairs of legs on the carapace (fused plates covering thorax). Slipper lobsters are well camouflage with light brown and beige dominant colouration, though some variation exists such as red, blue or black stripes and spots.

General Information

The Scyllaridae family consists of 8 genera and 71 species. The slipper lobster is closely related to spiny and coral lobsters. They are very wary creatures, protecting themselves by burrowing into the sand. Found in sandy and coral rubble areas. Pelagic spawners.


The slipper lobster feeds on molluscs, crustaceans, worms, echinoderms and detritus.


The slipper lobster occurs in temperate and tropical oceans worldwide.

Common species

Ridged slipper lobster (Scyllarides nodifer)
Shoveller crayfish (Scyllarides elizabethae)
Spanish slipper lobster (Scyllarides aequinoctialis)

© Johan Boshoff