A female is ready to mate at about 5 years of age. Mating must occur within 48 hours after the female molts, and the process usually lasts about a minute. The female will spawn her eggs between one month and two years after mating, at which time they become fertilized by sperm that has been stored. The number of eggs the female spawns is dependent on body size, where an 18 cm lobster will lay about 3,000 eggs and a 45 cm lobster will lay around 75,000 eggs. The female will then carry the eggs underneath her tail for about 10 to 11 months until they hatch. Only about 1/10 of 1 per cent of the young survive after four weeks, mainly due to predation. The young will move about the water column for about 12 days, then move to the bottom.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 5 years.
Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; oviparous ; sperm-storing
Parental Investment: female parental care
- Author unknown, 2001. The World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago, IL: World Book Inc..
- Bliss, D. 1990. Shrimps, Lobsters and Crabs; Thier Fascinating Life Story. New York City, New York: Columbia University Press.
- Gulf of Maine Aquarium, 1999. "Lobsters" (On-line). Accessed May 7, 2003 at http://www.gma.org/lobsters/.