What Do Lobsters Eat? Lobsters are invertebrates classified as crustaceans. They are commonly found in shallow ocean waters. During the day, lobsters hide in rock crevices. Lobsters are considered to be opportunists when it comes to feeding.
In general, lobsters consume an omnivorous diet which constitutes of fish, other crustaceans, worms, and some plants.
Table of Contents
- What Do Lobsters Eat?
- Lobsters Diet by Types
- How Do Lobsters Hunt?
- When Do Lobsters Eat?
- How Often Do Lobsters Eat?
- What Eats Lobsters?
- Where Do Lobsters Fit in the Animal Food Chain?
- Key References
What Do Lobsters Eat?
|Type of Lobster||Diet|
|American Lobster||Fish, mollusk members, crustaceans, algae, and some plants.|
|European Lobster||Crabs, worms, urchins, starfish, algae, and zooplankton.|
|Caribbean Spiny Lobster||Macroalgae, mollusks, marine worms, other crustaceans, echinoderms, detritus, marine invertebrates, sea urchins, and carrion.|
|Caribbean Furry Lobster||Shrimps|
Lobsters Diet by Types
Different lobster species exist. These organisms are divided into 2 groups, namely clawed and spiny lobsters. Clawed lobsters are considered to be the true lobsters while the spiny lobsters are false lobsters.
Types of lobsters that will be covered in this section will be examples of the 2 broader groups identified earlier.
What Do American Lobsters Eat?
American lobster primarily consumes fish, mollusk members, crustaceans, algae, and some plants.
- The American lobster makes up the first half of the clawed lobsters. The American lobster can reach a length of 1.1 m, and its weight can go to about 20 kg.
- This large-bodied crustacean is also referred to as the Maine lobster. As its name suggests, this lobster has a wide distribution in North America (the Atlantic coast).
- The American lobster inhabits temperate marine waters. They can also be found in muddy and sandy regions, but they prefer areas with rocks (rocky reefs) because they provide a safe hiding haven for them.
What Do European Lobsters Eat?
European lobster diet constitutes of benthic organisms like crabs, worms, urchins, starfish, algae, and zooplankton.
- This lobster is the other half of the clawed lobster category. As its name suggests, the European lobster is commonly found along the European coast.
- This lobster is notable for its dark blue hue with cream/yellow spots on the top and yellow color at the bottom.
- This lobster inhabits the continental shelf in depths of up to 150 m.
What Do Caribbean Spiny Lobsters Eat?
Caribbean spiny lobster feeds on plants like the macroalgae, mollusks, marine worms, other crustaceans, echinoderms, detritus, and an array of marine invertebrates, sea urchins, and carrion.
- The Caribbean spiny lobster is the largest crustacean notable in the Caribbean Sea and the adjacent waters.
- These organisms are benthic meaning they live at the bottom of the ocean, to depths of up to 90 m. Their habitat regions include temperate or tropical marine waters.
- Adult Caribbean spiny lobsters can be found offshore, especially next to rocks, coral reefs, and eelgrass beds.
What Do Caribbean Furry Lobsters Eat?
Caribbean furry lobster feeds on a carnivorous diet consisting of shrimps.
- This lobster’s pincers are coated with hair-like strands giving it a furry appearance.
- This lobster is commonly found in marine waters, especially next to rocks and coral reefs.
How Do Lobsters Hunt?
For lobsters, hunting is facilitated by their senses (smell and taste).
- They first locate their victim using the small antennae located on the front part of their heads. Their front legs come in handy for lobsters during hunting.
- They use their front feet to sift sand on the ocean to find their prey.
- They then direct their prey to their claws which are used for crushing.
When Do Lobsters Eat?
Lobsters are nocturnal.
- Lobsters tend to be active at night and so they will always be found cruising at the ocean’s shoreline in search of food when night falls.
- During the day they hide from predators.
How Often Do Lobsters Eat?
Lobsters will tend to eat as often as long as the food is available and as long as their claws can reach.
- In the event of scarcity, especially during spring, they change their diet.
- During this time, they eat plants and sponges to meet their daily energy requirement.
What Eats Lobsters?
Lobsters have a large number of natural predators who range from mammals to the members of class Pisces and other lobster species.
- Examples of organisms that feed on lobsters include humans, codfish, haddock, seals, eels, raccoons, skates, some shark species (nurse shark), sea turtles, octopuses, rays, wolfish, and other lobsters.
Where Do Lobsters Fit in the Animal Food Chain?
Lobsters play an essential role in the animal food chain.
- They are prey to organisms like haddock, codfish, wolfish, and humans. In this role, they provide energy to some of the apex predators, thus ensuring they have the right nutrients to survive.
- Lobsters feed on a large number of small organisms like the worms, mollusks, other crustaceans, ocean urchins, and small fishes thus maintaining a balance in their local population.
- This role is imperative to ensuring these small organisms do not overpopulate their ecosystem.
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