How Many Legs Do Lobsters Have? (10 or 8) All about Legs & Claws

Do lobsters have 10 or 8 legs? Most lobsters have 10 legs, including their two giant claws. Yes, the claws are biologically considered to be legs. So, a lobster has a total of 10 legs—eight legs plus two claws.

However, there are exceptions too. Not all lobsters have 10 legs. Some may have only 8 legs. This article will discuss more regarding their anatomy. Read the whole article to learn all the details.

How Many Legs Do Lobsters Have?

How many legs do lobsters have? Including claws, most lobsters have 10 legs, but only a few of them are actually used for walking. If you’re studying biology or need to draw a lobster for a project, you must know how many legs they have that are used for walking.

As you might have noticed from looking at pictures or logos, some illustrations show lobsters with three legs, four legs, or even eight legs, yet this needs to be more accurate anatomically.

Lobster belongs to the Phylum Arthropoda and is divided into the Subphylum Crustacea. Every other animal in the crustacea subphylum has similar anatomies and characteristics. That means crabs, shrimp, lobster, and every other animal in the crustacea subphylum have the same number of legs.

lobster legs

So, how many walking legs should you draw in a lobster? Lobsters have 8 walking legs, and the first pair are considered claws. Moreover, lobsters have two pairs of long antennae to smell their surroundings.

In the claw section, one claw is named pincher, and another is named crusher. The claw pincher rips or pinches the prey, and the crusher claw crushes large prey.

However, regarding the types of lobster, the number of their legs varies.

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Anatomic Discussion of Lobster Leg?

The lobster’s front leg is referred to as the pincher, and its other four pairs of legs are equipped with the necessary functional limbs. Lobsters used the first two claws to tear apart their prey while hunting.

Like all arthropods, lobsters are bilaterally symmetrical and have two distinct partitions: the cephalothorax and the abdomen. The claws of the cephalothorax, which has 14 segments, extend from this shell.

The lobster’s abdomen cavity contains six segments that are not connected. And those disconnected segments help lobsters be flexible. The tail of the lobster has six segments and movable parts. The main muscle for movement is also in the tail so that the lobster can swim easily.

A lobster’s limbs can regrow, and that is called autonomy. Lobsters’ joint legs are attached to their thorax region. They can detach their legs from their thorax and regrow them. But it can take up to five years to regrow their claws again.

Other than claws, the other four pairs of lobsters’ legs have small strips of meat. The two joints that connect the claws to the carapace are called knuckles. And the knuckles are the tastiest meat on the lobster.

Do All Lobsters Have the Same Number of Legs?

You might assume that every lobster has 10 legs after learning how many legs lobsters have. As I said before, it can be less. The number of legs on a lobster varies, though. First, you have to know how many lobsters there are.

lobster in the ocean

At least three different crustacean groups go by the name of lobster. The clawed lobsters, spiny lobsters, and squat lobsters.

  1. The most common type of lobster is the clawed lobster, which has 10 legs and two claws on its head.
  2. Spiny lobsters have 8 walking legs and 2 antennas but no claws.
  3. And lastly, squat lobsters have 6 walking legs and 2 claws. In other words, squat lobsters have a total of 8 legs.
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So, depending on what type of lobster it is, the number of legs can range from 6 to 10

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Does a lobster have 6 legs?

Not generally. Most lobsters have 10 legs, including claws. No lobsters have 6 legs. But if it’s about walking legs, then you may take a look at a squat lobster. It has 6 walking legs and 2 claws for getting its food.

How many legs do a crab have?

Crabs are also members of the phylum Arthropoda and the subphylum Crustacea. This means that crabs also contain 10 legs.

The claws on the crab’s front legs are strong and gripping, allowing it to catch prey and hunt for food. The crab uses its remaining legs to move back and forth. Crabs prefer crawling sideways because it is easier for them too. However, they can slowly crawl front and back.

What are the names of lobster claws?

The crusher and pincer claws are the first two legs of a lobster, and they are responsible for the lobster’s striking predator appearance. The larger of the two claws, known as the “crusher claw,” is used to break shells. And its smaller counterpart, named the picking/cutting claw, helps tear prey.

What are the names of lobster walking legs?

Lobsters have four pairs of legs that they use for walking, called Pereiopods. The first two pairs just behind the claws are equipped with sensors that help them taste their food, and these legs are also used for eating. The latter two pairs of legs are mostly employed in walking.

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Are lobsters able to regrow their legs and claws?

Lobsters can regrow their legs and claws if they lose them due to an injury or attack. That is because they have the ability to regenerate some of their body parts, such as claws, walking legs, and antennae. When a leg is lost, it takes up to five years for a new one to fully regrow and be functional again. And this is called regeneration, autonomy, or reflex amputation.

The leg is regenerated from the remaining stump, composed of a few cells programmed to regrow the entire limb. The slow regeneration process has been observed in lobsters, crayfish, and crabs.

Also See: Can Octopuses Regrow Limbs?

How many eyes do lobsters have?

Lobsters have two eyes like humans. But unlike humans, lobsters do not have an eye socket where the eye can be kept.

Lobsters’ eyes stay on a structure called a “stalk,” which is thin and long. The eyes of a lobster depend on reflection. And lobsters have two eyes that contain up to 10,000 tubes shaped like squares.


So, the number of legs may vary depending on the type of lobster, but generally, lobsters have 10 legs. They have two claws, four pairs of walking legs, and two eyes. It is fascinating to know that they can even regrow their lost limbs through regeneration. All in all, Lobsters are truly amazing creatures!

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