Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species occurs widely in the Indo-West Pacific from the Maldives, Japan, Taiwan, Viet Nam, the Philippines (the eastern and southern coasts), Indonesia (Sulawesi, Irian Jaya), and the Polynesian islands (Chan and Chu 1996, Juinio-Menez and Gotanco 2004). It is thought to also occur in the Solomon Islands, New Hebrides, Wallis and Futuna, and probably off northern Australia (Chan and Chu 1996). Adults were recently recorded off the Galapagos Islands (Isabela) after the 1997/98 El Nino event. These were almost certainly vagrants rather than invasives or introductions (Charles Darwin Foundation and WWF 2002), although there have been sporadic reports each year since then (Hickman and Zimmerman 2000). This species range is likely to be extended upon further directed surveys.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in shallow rocky and coral reef areas to about 20 m in depth (Chan and Chu 1996).

Systems
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 3 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 3 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 3.5 - 12
  Temperature range (°C): 28.155 - 28.373
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.047 - 0.062
  Salinity (PPS): 34.370 - 34.592
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.514 - 4.544
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.092 - 0.165
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.159 - 1.217

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 3.5 - 12

Temperature range (°C): 28.155 - 28.373

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.047 - 0.062

Salinity (PPS): 34.370 - 34.592

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.514 - 4.544

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.092 - 0.165

Silicate (umol/l): 1.159 - 1.217
 
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2011

Assessor/s
Chan, T.Y., Butler, M., Cockcroft, A., MacDiarmid, A. & Wahle, R.

Reviewer/s
Collen, B., Livingstone, S. & Richman, N.

Contributor/s
Batchelor, A., De Silva, R., Dyer, E., Kasthala, G., Lutz, M.L., McGuinness, S., Milligan, H.T., Soulsby, A.-M. & Whitton, F.

Justification

Panulirus femoristriga has been assessed as Least Concern. While only having been recently described, it is wide-ranging and it's range is likely to be expanded upon further collections. It is harvested in many parts of its range, but levels of exploitation appear to be low and for local consumption.

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Population

Population
This species is "caught throughout its range, but apparently nowhere abundant" according to Chan (1998), although Ravago and Juinio-Meñez (2002) describe it as "relatively abundant" in the eastern Philippines, off Samar. It is rare in fish markets in Taiwan, and in Hong Kong is imported, often from Indonesia (Chan and Chu 1996). It is also very rare off mainland Japan (Honshu Island) (Chan and Chu 1996).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is caught throughout its range, but separate statistics are unavailable because of taxonomic issues and former confusion with P. longipes (Chan 1998).

In the Phillippines this species is caught in mixed catches with two subspecies of Panulirus longipes (P. l. longipes and P. l. bispinosus) with which its range overlaps, making up 26% of the catch in Guiuan, eastern Samar (Ravago and Juinio-Meñez 2002).

In the Bonin Islands (southeast of mainland Japan) this and other species of spiny lobster are caught using baited cages set on the rocky sea floor (Nishikori and Sekiguchi 2001).

In the Maldives this is one of five Panulirus spp. exploited for the local tourist market. Catches appear to be levelling off; however, lobsters are increasing in value suggesting that reduced abundance is driving prices up (Adam 2006). Catch statistics for all species are reported below (in numbers landed):

1995 - 23,000; 1996 - 37,523; 1997 - 37,543; 1998 - 29,375; 1999 - 24,183; 2000 - 23,483; 2001 - 43,172; 2002 - 59,980; 2003 - 48,120; 2004 - 41,644.

Over the same period the unit value (Rupees / lobster) has increased from 66.3 in 1995 to 112.25 in 2003 (Adam 2006).

In the Galapagos this is one of four lobsters fished by SCUBA divers. Catch per unit effort (CPUE, in kg diver day-1) data was relatively constant from 1997 to 2001 (Guime 2003):

1997 - 6.7; 1998 - 5.8; 1999 - 7.0; 2000 - 9.5; 2001 - 7.0

The recent taxonomic split, and uncertainty of which species is which, means that former literature on this species is unreliable.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
In the Maldives management measures in the spiny lobster fishery include: an export ban (harvest is for local consumption only); minimum size restrictions; and a ban on harvesting berried (egg-bearing) females under 25 cm total length. Monitoring and enforcement of these measures is often weak (Adam 2006).

Since the revision of this species' taxonomy there is uncertainty about the distributions and exploitation levels of this and two other similar cryptic species (P. longipes longipes and P. longipes bispinosus) (Chan and Ng 2001, Juinio-Menez and Gotanco 2004).
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