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Recent Discoveries of the "Rare" Species Homarus Cape,Nsis (Herbst, 1792) On the South African Coast

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The cape pygmy lobster, Homarus capensis, was until recently considered to be rare or even extinct. In 1992, a specimen was found at Dassen Island, 56 km north of Cape Town, and this find led to the reporting of at least another 20 individuals. Most recent finds arc the result of regurgitations by fish which live in depths of 20 to 40 m. The known distribution of H. capensis has thus been extended and is now from Dassen Island on the Cape West Coast to Haga Haga, cast of East London: a distance of 900 km. There are some differences in morphology between H. capensis and members of this genus found in the northern hemisphere (H. americanus and H. gammarus). In particular, the openings of the oviduct are much larger in H. capensis than in the other two species, suggesting the Cape pigmy lobster probably produces larger eggs than the American or European lobsters.

Affiliations: 1: School of Fisheries Sciences, Kitasato University, Sanriku, Iwate, Japan; 2: School of Fisheries Sciences, Kitasato University, Sanriku, Iwate, Japan, Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

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