Welcome to our Caribbean Spiny Lobster and Stone Crab habitat. This habitat, however, is not a touch tank. The spiny lobster does grow many spines along their exoskeleton that will protect them from large Goliath Groupers to Nurse sharks. Fun fact about these Caribbean Spiny Lobster; These crustaceans will grow their entire life cycle. This is known as an indeterminate grower. Each time they need to grow, they will need to shed or molt their exoskeleton. These molts look like an exact replica of themselves. These lobster here are anywhere from 2 to 3 pounds. The largest Spiny Lobster on record was 3ft in length and weighing in at about 26 pounds. Although this is not an interactive tank by touching the the lobsters, you are able to buy food to feed these lobster at our bait shack. Using nice long feeding sticks you can get right down to the lobsters without the risk of scratching your hands. Located directly above our Lobster habitat you can find the Stone Crab tank. These Stone Crab can be found in coastal offshore waters from North Carolina to Belize. They are typically found in shallow waters of about 200 feet with sandy/muddy bottoms, rocky outcrops and seagrass beds. Florida Stone Crab Fishery provides 99% of all stone crab landings in the U.S. Stone Crab fisheries are unique where as only the claws are harvested and then the crab is returned to the water. Stone crabs can regenerate their claws in about 18 months. For the claws to be legally harvested they need to be 2 3/4 inches in length. The harvesting season for Stone Crabs is October 15th through May 1st.
Now, let's continue over to our Nursery Exhibit.