The Caribbean Spiny Lobster is an armored hunter that usually comes out at night. We had a chance to see this beautiful animal in broad daylight at a reef north of Little Cayman.
The Caribbean Spiny Lobster gets its name from rows of spines that protect its tail. Unlike its North-Atlantic cousins, the Caribbean Spiny Lobster doesn't have large claws. Instead, it needs a suit of armor to stay safe from many reef predators. The Caribbean Spiny Lobster has five pairs of walking legs that let it run and jump across the reef with good agility. The Caribbean Spiny Lobster also has two long antennae that help it search for food. This lobster's antennae were over two feet long.
This lobster is surrounded by corals in a gully at the top of an underwater cliff. Just a few feet to the north, the cliff plunged thousands of feet into the abyss north of Little Cayman. Behind the lobster are several tall Sea Rod corals, and near the lobster's tail are two large tubes of a brown sponge. Although 40 feet underwater, the waves on the surface are easily visible through the clear water.
Tessa Dowell took this picture using a Nikonos V with 20mm lens and SB105 strobe. This photo was taken during Tessa Dowell's participation in the Nikon School of Underwater Photography, Divi Tiara Resort, Cayman Brac, March 2000.