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Maine Lobster Facts

Want some interesting facts about Maine lobsters or the American lobster, Homarus americanus? We have ton of factual information about Maine lobsters that you never knew! Check out the details below.

Where Does the Lobster Population Live?

The size of a lobster determines where they populate. On average, a lobster that is 1.25lb or smaller, will hide in and around sea weeds and rocky areas in the ocean that provide the proper amount of food and shelter from predators. Any “adolescent lobsters” meaning, 1.5 to 3lb plus will take over coastal habitats and offshore areas. Most lobsters will remain in these areas unless there is a reason to leave. Such as, water temperatures rising or excessive amounts of predators invading their habitats

Lobsters Lifespan

The average male lobster has a lifespan of 31 years. The females on average live for 54 years. The oldest lobster recorded was 140 years old in 2009.
Lobster Life Fact

Lobster Life Cycle

There are 7 stages to a lobsters life cycle. Step 1, a female lobster mates with a male lobster. Step 2, the eggs are stored under the female lobsters tail and after 9-12 months the female lobster will being to lay her eggs in the safest area she can find. Step 3, the larval stage begins. The larval stage is when the newborn lobsters float near the surface of the ocean for about 4-6 weeks. They’re very susceptible to prey during this stage and will go through three molts or stages before the post larval stage. Step 4, is the post larval stage. After the lobster has molted for the fourth time, the few that survive will slowly settle to the bottom. From every 50,000 eggs only about 2 lobsters are expected to survive to become a legal size to sell. Step 5, is the juvenile stage. As the lobster continues to grow into its shell they become much more adventuresome, hiding less. It takes 5-7 years for the juvenile lobsters to grow to a legal size to harvest. Step 6, the lobsters are now legal and able to be harvest. Step 7, this final stage continues to happen throughout the lobsters entire life. It is the “molting” phase where the lobster will literally, out grow their shell. The lobster grows from the inside out. This means, the lobster must “molt” its shell when it is too full. The lobster will shed its shell completely off and grow into a new shell that is larger, allowing the lobster to grow. This is called the “molting” phase where the lobster goes from a hard-shell lobster to a new soft shell that he/she will grow into and eventually repeat the cycle over and over again. On average, a lobster will molt 25 times in the first 5-7 years of its life.

We have more information on our blog about facts about a mother lobster if would like to read more.

Lobster Habitat

The American lobster mainly habitats on the east coast of North America, from Newfoundland to North Carolina. Smaller lobsters, naturally need to hide from predators resulting in these sized lobsters living in sea weed filled and rocky areas that provide adequate shelter from predators. Larger lobsters, ranging in weights of 1.5lbs to 3.5lbs typically dominate the coastal habitats and offshore areas. They do not migrate often when they’re this size, meaning they find an area they like and stick to it unless they’re forced to migrate due to a larger predator invading their area. Rarely, larger, more mobile lobsters can inhabit deeper waters but seasonally they will return to the shallow, warmer waters.

How Long Do Lobsters Live Out Of Water?

A lobster can live out of the water on average 2-3 days if it is kept in a moist, cool place. The larger the lobster, typically the longer it can survive out of water.

Lobster Anatomy

The anatomy of a lobster is quite interesting. From tail to head, the lobsters have many parts to it. Starting at the tail, there are the lobster tail fins. After the fins, is the tail/abdomen. Then the walking legs referred to as “Pereiopods” which are the located under the body of the lobster, used as sensors and of course, to help them walk on the ocean floor. Next is the Body/ Carapace which is the outer shell of the cephalothorax. The Cephalothorax contains the head and thorax sections which is more commonly referred to as “the body”. After the body, there are what’s referred to as the lobsters antennae. They’re tactile organs that are used as a sense of touch. Lastly a lobster has 2 claws which play different rolls. There is a pincher claw and the crusher claw. The pincher claw called the “Chelipod” is small, thin and longer than the crusher claw. The Chelipod is used for tearing food apart. The crusher claw also called the “Chelipod” speaks for itself, it is used for crushing pray such as shellfish. A lobster also has what is called a Mandible, which is a jaw like structure for crushing and ingesting food. As far as a lobster’s mouth, there are “Maxillipeds” which are the mouthparts of the lobster. They’re flat plate like parts that are used to help pass food to the mandible (jaw). Lastly, lobsters have Pleopods, which are the little swimmers under the tail. Females have Pleopods with longer hairs on them than males which are specifically used to hold her eggs when pregnant.
Lobster Anatomy

What Do Lobsters Eat

Lobsters like to eat a variety of shellfish. They enjoy crabs, clams, mussels, starfish, smaller fish occasionally even other lobsters! An interesting fact on how lobsters actually eat is that they chew with their stomachs! Food is chewed in the stomach with what looks like three molars. These are referred to as the “gastric mill”.

Do Lobsters Eat In Tanks?

Yes they do, although when stored in tanks minimal food is available. With this being said, lobsters pretty much will eat anything they come across in a tank or pound. When lobsters are stored in a lobster pound, the variety of food to eat is greater than a lobster stored in a crate. The reason being, in pounds, lobsters are stored longer as well as a flow of water cycles through most pounds allowing for more food. Where as in a crate, most lobsters are not stored for very long due to the demand. Tanks are usually cleaned regularly to avoid diseases as well as keeping a comfortable humane environment for the lobsters until they're sold.

Largest Lobster Ever

The record for the largest lobster ever caught was off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1977 with a lobster that weighed 44lbs! The lobster was estimated to be 100 years old.
44lb lobster

Lobster Migration Patterns

There is not a specific pattern taken each year but studies do prove that lobsters tagged offshore in the winter and spring have been recaptured inshore in the summer and fall. This suggest a pattern of seasonal migration. Studies show that a lobster’s migration patterns change throughout various stages of their lives. For example, juveniles do not typically exhibit large scale movements. Smaller lobsters tend to migrate along the coastline where as larger, adult lobsters move greater distances than small juveniles.