A preliminary study on the distribution of spiny lobster (Panulirus spp.) in Labuan Island, Malaysia
Limited info regarding on the global distribution and fisheries data on the spiny lobster Panulirus spp. had placed the IUCN redlist in a dilemmatic position in determining the concrete status for proper conservation. The present survey was carried out in the western region of the main island which consists of seven random stations along the west coast of Labuan during day dive. An extreme low density of the spiny lobsters from the genus Panulirus was determined throughout the present study. Only four individuals of two spiny lobsters species were recorded. Two individuals of P. versicolor were observed in station 2 while the other two (P. ornatus) were spotted in station 4. Low numbers of the Panulirus spp. were spotted during the present preliminary survey was probably due to day dive sampling. Spiny lobster from the genus Panulirus tend to have a wide range of depth preference. Two adults P. versicolor were spotted in least turbid environment. In the previous studies, Panulirus spp. such as P. homarus, P. ornatus, and P. polyphagus tend to prefer slightly turbid environment. The results of the present preliminary daytime survey indicated only two species of Panulirus spp. recorded with two individual numbers per species in Labuan coastal waters. However, due to the little numbers of catchment during the preliminary survey, further studies need to be carried out to provide more concrete evidences on the depth preference of Panulirus spp. in Malaysian waters.
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