Key West snorkeling and scuba diving are delightful escapes into an enchanting world, a world only visible by the adventurous. They're ideal activities for those seeking to commune with nature in a very intimate setting. Among the many beautiful and wondrous undersea creatures you'll observe will be the spiny lobster.
Clawless in Florida
The spiny lobster, or rock lobster, is a curious critter related to the crab and shrimp. Not surprisingly, you will see most of the fascinating, unique features that lobsters are known to have: a crusty shell, spiny antennae, ten gangly but highly articulate legs and those funky eyes. Oddly enough, those eyes aren't exactly perfect; a lobster's vision is very poor. However, their sense of taste and smell are extremely advanced. One exception: spiny lobsters do not have claws!
Despite their clawless design, they feed very well on plants, fish, algae, mollusks and even their fellow lobsters. Their habitat is the warm waters of the world. Diving in the rich, warm, tropical waters off Key West, you will recognize them by their vibrant reddish hue.
They are essentially social creatures, known to migrate in hordes of more than 50 individuals. If you are fortunate enough to discover a line of spiny lobsters marching onward, you'll notice that they keep together by touching the next guy with their antennae. An awesome thing to see, you'll want to capture it on a good digital camera.
If you do any Key West snorkeling, the spiny lobster is an exciting treasure to anticipate. The fact that they're relatively slow-moving critters affords you the opportunity to observe them fairly easily. Look for them to pop their spiny heads out of crevices in the coral or rock formations. Be aware that their highly sensitive organs detect smells and movement in the water, so a slow approach is advised.