Ibacus alticrenatus

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Ibacus alticrenatus
Ibacus alticrenatus Bate.png
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Family: Scyllaridae
Genus: Ibacus
Species: I. alticrenatus
Binomial name
Ibacus alticrenatus
Spence Bate, 1888

Ibacus alticrenatus is a species of slipper lobster that lives in the waters of Australia and New Zealand.


Ibacus alticrenatus is one of the smaller species of Ibacus.[2] Males reach a maximum carapace length of 55 millimetres (2.2 in), with females slightly larger, at up to 65 mm (2.6 in).[2] The maximum total length is 16 centimetres (6.3 in).[3] There are typically 8, but occasionally 7 or 9, teeth along either edge of the carapace, behind the cervical incision.[3]


Around Australia, I. alticrenatus is found from the North West Cape in Western Australia, around the country's south coast, to 20° south in northern Queensland.[2] Although I. brucei has also been recorded from the Kermadec Islands and the West Norfolk Ridge, I. alticrenatus is the only slipper lobster to occur around the main islands of New Zealand.[2]

Life cycle[edit]

Females reach sexual maturity at a median carapace length of 39 millimetres (1.5 in).[2] They produce between 1700 and 14,800 eggs, with diameters of 0.94–1.29 mm (0.04–0.05 in). The eggs are incubated on the female's pleopods for 3–4 months before hatching; this occurs from April to October, with rates peaking in July.[2] The larvae pass through seven flattened phyllosoma stages over 4–6 months, growing from around 2.5 mm (0.1 in) to around 40 mm (1.6 in).[2] The succeeding moult is accompanied by a metamorphosis into the juveniles form (known as the "puerulus" or "nisto" stage), which much more closely resembles the adult form. There is a final "post-puerulus" stage before the animal reaches adulthood.[4]


Ibacus alticrenatus was first described in 1888 by Charles Spence Bate.[5] The type locality was Station 167 of the Challenger expedition, at a depth of 150 fathoms (900 ft; 270 m), at 39°32′S 171°48′E / 39.533°S 171.800°E / -39.533; 171.800. Four syntypes are held in the Natural History Museum in London.[3]

Common names for the species include "deep water bug" (Australia), "sandy bug" (Australia), "prawn killer" (New Zealand) and "velvet fan lobster", the last being the name preferred by the Food and Agriculture Organization.[3][6]

Ecology and conservation[edit]

Ibacus alticrenatus lives at depths of 20–455 m (66–1,493 ft), on soft, muddy bottoms, where it can bury itself in the sediment.[1]

The highest total landing in New Zealand for any fishing season was 49.12 t in 1992–1993.[7] I. alticrenatus was added to New Zealand's Quota Management System on October 1, 2007,[8] and the total allowable catch was set to 37.4 t.The majority of the catch is taken in the area to the north of North Island.[7] Because of its wide range, Ibacus alticrenatus is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.[1]


  1. ^ a b c M. Butler; A. Cockcroft & A. MacDiarmid (2011). "Ibacus alticrenatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g James A. Haddy; John Stewart & Ken J. Graham (2007). "Fishery and biology of commercially exploited Australian fan lobsters (Ibacus spp.)". In Kari L. Lavalli & Ehud Spanier. The Biology And Fisheries of the Slipper Lobster. Crustacean Issues. 17. CRC Press. pp. 359–376. ISBN 9780849333989. 
  3. ^ a b c d Lipke B. Holthuis (1991). "Scyllarus pygmaeus". Marine Lobsters of the World. FAO Species Catalogue, Volume 13. FAO Fisheries Synopsis No. 125. Food and Agriculture Organization. ISBN 92-5-103027-8. 
  4. ^ John M. Atkinson & Nelson C. Boustead (1982). "The complete larval development of the scyllarid lobster Ibacus alticrenatus Bate, 1888 in New Zealand waters". Crustaceana. 42 (3): 275–287. JSTOR 20103726. doi:10.1163/156854082x00344. 
  5. ^ C. Spence Bate (1888). "Tribe Synaxidea". Report on the Crustacea Macrura collected by H.M.S. Challenger during the Years 1873-1876. Report of the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger during the Years 1873–76. pp. 56–99. 
  6. ^ Tin-Yam Chan (2010). "Ibacus alticrenatus Bate, 1888". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Prawn killer (PRK) (Ibacus alticrenatus)" (PDF). Ministry for Primary Industries. 
  8. ^ "Proposal to list prawn killer (PRK) on the sixth schedule of the Fisheries Act 1996 – final advice" (PDF). Ministry for Primary Industries. 

External links[edit]