Acquired: Worked with fish (didn’t own)
Jerrabomberra, New South Wales, Australia
Posted Mar 16, 2013
You may be tempted to buy a small juvenile Debelius Reef Lobster on the basis of their absolutely stunning colouration - a vivid lavender highlighted with burnt orange spots. However, take caution if introducing it to a reef tank as they are not as innocent as some sources would indicate.
Any crustacean with a claw size to body ratio as large as a lobster is a potential threat to any living thing in your tank, and sleeping fish are a favourite snack. Not only are they active nocturnal hunters but they may move your aquarium hardware with their burrowing activity. They are highly territorial to their own species, especially between two males, and should only be housed singly unless in a very large tank with plenty of places to hide after molting, when the reef lobster is at its most vulnerable.
However, if you do choose to keep this attractive little lobster be sure to have a thick layer of sand at the bottom of your tank as it likes to burrow. Also place some live rocks or caves for the lobster to hide and hunt in. It will spend most of the time in these caves and out of sight.