At the top of every diver’s (or fisherman’s) bucket list is lobster season in the Florida Keys. Divers call lobsters “bugs” because the crustaceans and insects come from the same phylum, Arthropoda. Shared traits include jointed appendages – legs, antennae and mouthparts – hence the bug reference.
The Florida, or Caribbean spiny lobster, Panulirus argus , ranges from North Carolina to Brazil. It doesn’t have the large claws for hunting and defense like its cousin from the state of Maine. Its main defense is speed. Lobsters prefer reefs and rocking outcroppings, but those caught unprotected on the open sand are not easy pickings. With one flip of the tail, these critters can take off, leaving a diver bewildered and empty-handed.