Blue-spot Rock Lobster / Panulirus femoristriga / Family Palinuridae
This group of crustaceans has a confusing number of names, including crayfish, cray, lobster, rock lobster and spiny lobster.
Generally speaking, the name crayfish is used to describe those large marine crustaceans without claws. Lobsters, on the other hand, have extremely large and well-developed claws which can inflict a painful wound to careless humans - but are extremely good to eat.
The most commonly encountered species on the Great Barrier Reef are the Painted Crayfish (Panulirus versilcolor) and the Ornate Crayfish (Panulirus ornatus), both of which are brightly coloured. Painted crayfish can be identified easily by a stripe running down their legs, whereas the legs of the ornate crayfish are patterned by a series of bands.
A pair of long slender antennae extending from under a coral ledge is generally the first indicator of the presence of crayfish.