A behind-the-scenes look at our crustacean collection

Photo Galleries | Updated 7 months ago

A freshwater crayfish specimen#1 This freshwater crayfish belongs to the species Cherax preissi which is usually dark coloured, ranging from brown-black to blue-black.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A freshwater crayfish specimen#2 This local species is called “koonac” by Aboriginal people; species Cherax preissi.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A freshwater crayfish specimen#3 This specimen was collected in Guildford, WA; species Cherax preissi.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A freshwater crayfish specimen#4 It was collected in 1911… near one year ago! Then its owner gave it to the Western Australian Museum and this specimen joined our Crustacean collection; species Cherax preissi.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A freshwater crayfish in the wildFreshwater crayfish in the wild. This specimen belongs to the species Paranephrops planifrons.
Photo into the public domain - Wikimedia
A rock lobster specimenPainted rock lobster specimen which belongs to the species Panulirus cygnus, commonly known as Western Rock Lobster.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A rock lobster specimenAfter death crustaceans become white. To give them a natural appearance when they are exposed to the public, most of crustaceans are painted; species Panulirus cygnus
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A rock lobster specimenClose-up to the head of the painted rock lobster; species Panulirus cygnus, commonly known as Western Rock Lobster.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A rock lobster specimenClose-up to the head of the painted rock lobster; species Panulirus cygnus, commonly known as Western Rock Lobster.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Close-up of a leg of a rock lobster specimenThese hairs are sensory like a cat’s whiskers. The Western rock lobster often digs in sand looking for prey; species Panulirus cygnus
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A rock lobster specimenPainted rock lobster specimen which belongs to the species Panulirus cygnus, commonly known as Western Rock Lobster.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A rock lobster in the wildRock lobster in the wild which belongs to the species Panulirus versicolor.
Image copyright WA Museum
Close-up of the tail of a female spinylobsterThis female rock lobster is using it’s a pair of abdominal appendages called swimmerets to carry, aerate and oxygenate its eggs.
Image copyright WA Museum
A rock lobster in the wildRock lobster in the wild which belongs to the species Panulirus ornatus, commonly known as Ornate Rock Lobster or Ornate Spiny Lobster.
Image copyright WA Museum
A rock lobster in the wildThis rock lobster was photographed during a fieldwork at Rob Roy Reefs, Kimberley region, WA, on 24 October 2012; species Panulirus ornatus.
Image copyright WA Museum
A rock lobster specimenThis rock lobster belongs to the species Panulirus Cygnus.
Image copyright WA Museum
A rock lobster specimenThis rock lobster specimen preserved in the WA Museum’s collections belongs to the species Jasus edwardsii, commonly known as Southern Rock Lobster.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A rock lobster specimenThis specimen was collected on the South coast of Australia, in the region of Victoria. Southern rock lobsters are highly commercialized in New-Zealand. Species Jasus edwardsii.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Moult of a female rock lobsterMoult of a female Packhorse Rock Lobster, species Sagmariasus verreuxi. This moult was given to the WA Museum by the Taronga Zoo of Sydney, NSW.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Lobster in the wildLobsters only occur in Europe and on the Atlantic coast of North America. Thus, there are no lobsters on the Australian coastline! The photo’s specimen belongs to the species Hommarus gammarus, commonly known as European lobster.
Photo into the public domain - Wikimedia
Three slipper lobster specimens#1 When these three slipper lobsters were collected, they were first mistaken for a mum and her kids. However, scientists later recognize two different species…
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A slipper lobster specimen#2 … Indeed, the antennae shape is different in small and big specimens! Small slipper lobsters’ antennas are serrated (photo) whereas those of the “mum” are rounded.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
Two slipper lobster specimens#3 Thus, the two small slipper lobsters belong to the species Petractus demani while the larger specimen belongs to the species Scyllarides haani.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A slipper lobster specimenThis slipper lobster belongs to the species Thenus australiensis, commonly known as Moreton Bay Bug or Northern Shovel-nosed lobster. This species is common in Queensland and New South Wales.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A slipper lobster specimenThis slipper lobster belongs to the species Ibacus peronii, commonly known as Balmain Bug or Southern Shovel-nosed lobster. This species is common in Queensland and New South Wales.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A slipper lobster in the wildSlipper lobster in the wild.
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A scampi specimenThis crustacean specimen is a scampi, also known as Norwegian lobster. This specimen belongs to the genus Metanephrops.
Image copyright WA Museum
A scampi specimenScampi spceimen, also known as Norwegian lobster, which belongs to the species Nephropsis stewarti.
Image copyright WA Museum
A scampi specimenSuch as this scampi, WA Museum’s scientists keep and preserve some crustaceans in freezers for further analysis! This specimen belongs to the species Metanephrops australis.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A scampi specimenCold preserve the shape but also the colour, at the opposite of alcohol solutions. Species Metanephrops australis.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A scampi in the wildScampi in the wild. This specimen belongs to the species Nephrops norvegicus
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A squat lobster specimenThis crustacean with long legs and a small body is a squat lobster. Squat lobsters vary in carapace length from 9 centimetres down to a few millimetres. Species Eumunida pacifica.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A squat lobster in the wildThis squat lobster belongs to the species Allogalathea elegans, commonly known as the Feather Star Squat Lobster, Crinoid Squat Lobster or Elegant Squat Lobster.
Image copyright WA Museum
A squat lobsterCrinoid Squat Lobsters generally use sea stars for camouflage and feed on and can change their colour to match the coloration of their host, though this behaviour is not systematic.
Image copyright WA Museum
A squat lobsterCrinoid Squat Lobsters have colour which varies from dark red, blackish purple, orange to yellow, white or brown and generally have longitudinal stripes.
Image copyright WA Museum
A squat lobsterThis squat lobster belongs to the genus Galathea and was photographed by the Museum scientists during a fieldtrip in Browse Island, WA.
Image copyright WA Museum
A squat lobsterThis squat lobster belongs to the genus Galathea and was photographed by the Museum scientists during a fieldtrip in Browse Island, WA.
Image copyright WA Museum
A squat lobsterThis squat lobster belongs to the genus Uroptychus and was photographed by the Museum scientists during a fieldtrip at Rob Roy Reefs, Kimberley region, WA.
Image copyright WA Museum
A blind lobster specimen#1 Blind lobsters live in darkness of oceans depths which has led them to being blind. These crustaceans only have small holes where the eyes would be. Can you see them?
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A blind lobster specimen#2 All the legs of blind lobsters end by a claw but scientists are not able to explain the reason yet. Species Polycheles galil.
Photo by Jessica Scholle, image copyright WA Museum
A freshwater crayfish specimenNative Western Australian freshwater crayfish which belongs to the species Cherax tenuimnus, commonly known as Marron. The blue colour is from a rare mutation that occurs in many lobster species. Think of it as being a blue albino.
Image copyright WA Museum

Lobsters, crayfish, rock lobsters, slipper lobsters, blind lobsters… The Crustacean group hosts many species which are very similar in shape. However, they do not all live in the same environments and some of them have very divergent ecologies. This photo gallery shows several species that could be easily mistaken. Would you be able to recognise each crustacean?

Further Information 

Do you know how to tell a lobster from a crayfish and a squat lobster from a slipper lobster? Read out dedicated article “Lobsters, rock lobsters and crayfish” to learn the main keys to identifying each species.