• Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Crustacea
  • Class: Malacostraca
  • Subclass: Eumalacostraca
  • Superorder: Eucarida
  • Order: Decapoda
  • Suborder: Pleocyemata
  • Infraorder: Astacidea
  • Norwegian: langhalekreps


The lobster body is cylindrical or oval. They have a well developed thorn (rostrum) between the eyes. As all Decapods, they have five pair of legs. The first pair is formed as robust, scissor-like claws. This is in contrast to the spiny lobsters, whose five pair of legs are of similar sizes.


There are originally only two marine species of the infraorder Astacidea along the Norwegian coast; the well known European lobster and the smaller Norway lobster. They are both members of the family Nephropidae, also called true lobsters or clawed lobsters.

Unfortunately, someone released imported North-American lobster, Homarus Americanus, in the Oslo fjord in 1999. Since then, it has proven viable in Norwegian waters. This poses a serious problem for our European lobster as the two species can mate and produce a hybrid bigger and stronger than our original lobster. However, experiments by the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research indicate that the two species do not consider each other as sexual partners. Even so, the North-American lobster may eventually oust its European cousin. Another problem is that the North-American lobster carries a parasite that is 100% lethal for the European lobster.