Spiny squat lobster

: Spiny squat lobster

Spiny squat lobster by Paul Naylor

Spiny squat lobster

Scientific name: Galathea strigosa
A bizarre half lobster/half crab, this squat lobster is one of the true stunners of the rocky shore!

Species information


Up to 10cm long (including tail)

Conservation status

Fairly common

When to see

April to October


Squat lobsters look a bit like a cross between crabs and lobsters or a tiny lobster curled in half! They have a long, flattened body and a tail tucked up underneath. As with many other crustaceans, squat lobsters can use their tail as a paddle to escape backwards very quickly.

How to identify

This species is particularly vibrant, with a stunning red body, decorated with electric blue stripes across the body and around the eyes. Two long, chunky, red claws stick out in front, covered in thick brown hairs (spines).


Fairly common around the UK, North east Atlantic, Mediterranean and Red Seas

Did you know?

This species is more likely to be found at night, when it leaves its rocky crevice to scavenge for food!

How people can help

Always follow the Seashore Code when rockpooling, taking care where you walk and making sure you put animals and rocks back gently.

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