Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

Family NEPHROPIDAE Dana, 1852


Nephropids are deep water lobsters found in depths from 150–1893 metres. Three genera are represented in Australian waters: Acanthacaris Bate (Neophoberinae), Metanephrops Jenkins (Nephropinae), and Nephropsis Wood-Mason (Thymopinae). The species of Metanephrops are collectively known as 'Scampi' and are of some commercial interest, although generally not taken in the quantities that make the Northern Hemisphere Scampi (Nephrops species) so important to fisheries. Jenkins (1972) was the first to recognise that the Southern Hemisphere 'Nephrops' were generically distinct. Other important references dealing with the Australian fauna include: Bruce (1966), Chan & Yu (1991), Chan (1998) Griffin & Stoddart (1987) and Holthuis (1991).



Moderate to large lobsters. Body tubular, surface almost naked or covered with thick fur. Carapace with well-developed rostrum, ornamented with spines or nodules, occasionally smooth. Eyes usually well developed and black, or small and lacking pigmentation, or even absent. Antennae very long and thread-like; antennal scale, if present, with inner margin unarmed and curved. Pereiopods 1–3 chelate, first pair forming long, robust claws. Sternal plate between fifth pereiopods fused with that between fourth pair; podobranchiae of first three pereiopods with discrete branchial and epipoditic parts; first pleopod of male without individual sperm conduit. Abdomen and tailfan well developed and robust; abdomen smooth or variously sculptured, pleura ending in acute ventral tooth; tailfan entirely calcified; telson with fixed spines, posterior margin broadly convex. (Modified after Chan 1998).


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
05-Dec-2019 DECAPODA Latreille, 1802 01-Aug-2018 MODIFIED Dr Shane Ahyong
22-Dec-2016 DECAPODA Latreille, 1803 28-Jun-2016 MODIFIED Dr Shane Ahyong
29-May-2012 29-May-2012 MOVED
20-Oct-2011 20-Oct-2011 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)