Marine Biology

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 321–329 | Cite as

Some direct observations on the ecology and behaviour of the Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus

  • C. J. Chapman
  • A. L. Rice


A detailed investigation of a small area of sea bed occupied by the Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus (L.) was carried out by diving and television observations at depths of 30 m in Loch Torridon, Scotland. The density of burrows was 1/2 m2, but only a proportion of these were occupied by N. norvegicus. Although about 70% of the larger burrows were occupied by N. norvegicus, giving a density of 1 lobster/8 m2, very few juveniles (carapace length less than 30 mm) were found in the area. Many of the small burrows were occupied by the gobiid fish Lesueurigobius friesii (Collett). There was evidence that N. norvegicus frequently change their burrows, and fighting for burrows was observed. N. norvegicus remain within their burrows during the day, emerge around sunset to forage for food during the night, and then return to their burrows at dawn. This, and other aspects of their burrowing behaviour, have a marked effect on the commercial trawl catches of N. norvegicus which show large seasonal and diurnal variations in size and sex composition.


Small Area Direct Observation Diurnal Variation Marked Effect Carapace Length 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. J. Chapman
    • 1
  • A. L. Rice
    • 2
  1. 1.Marine LaboratoryAberdeenScotland, UK
  2. 2.British Museum (Natural History)LondonEngland

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