Where Do Lobsters Live? Lobster Habitat Explained

Benthic creatures, the lobsters, live on the ocean’s floor in rocky caves, crevasses, and among the seaweeds. They favour temperatures between 15-20° Celsius.

Now you may be inquisitive about the secret life of lobsters’ habitat, like where they lived before being discovered on your plate. Well! If you want to learn more about these fascinating crustaceans, read on.

Here is a chart of some of the most common lobsters based on their region:

Types of LobstersRegion
American LobstersAtlantic coast of North America,
European LobsterEastern Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea and the northwest of the Black Sea
Norway LobsterWestern Mediterranean Sea, and Northeast Atlantic
Cape LobsterCoast of South Africa
ThymopsCoast of South America
Caribbean Spiny Lobster (Panulirus Argus)Atlantic and Caribbean Oceans
Nephropsis RoseaCaribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico
Metanephrops AustraliensisNorth-West Coast of Western Australia
Metanephrops ChallengeriCoast of New Zealand
Metanephrops JaponicusCoast of Japan
Panulirus CygnusCoast of Australia
Panulirus VersicolorIndo-Pacific
California Spiny LobsterEastern Pacific Ocean
Palibythus MagnificusPolynesia

Where Do Lobsters Live?

Lobsters live somewhere from shallow shorelines to deep oceans. The preference for colder temperatures varies by species. During the summer, larger lobsters wander nearer to the coastline to remain in warmer water.

Surprisingly they can survive on rocky, gritty, or murky soil. Lobsters prefer to live solitary in cramped spaces where they are protected from scavengers.

Do you know lobsters spend much of the day camped out in concealment? Indeed, this is how they get away from potential danger. Burrows, rocky crevices, pebbles, sandy areas, and underwater caverns are common places for lobsters to take refuge.

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What Kind of Habitat Do Lobsters Need?

The ideal habitat for a lobster is a cool, salty stream. We recommend a salinity of 20-25 ppt and a temperature of 15-20° Celsius. This is because oxygen concentrations are higher in cold water compared to warm water. Their blood contains less salt than the surrounding saltwater.

Seawater can permeate and absorb oxygen through the lobster cells. Lobsters need salt water to survive because their body remains stable in an isotonic condition with the saltwater around them. So, saltwater is needed to balance the fluid in their cells.

As lobsters breathe on gills, the ideal environment for lobster gills is cooler seawater. Osmosis is a process used by lobster’s gill to collect oxygen, and it can only occur in the ocean’s salty water.

Stream water is another essential factor that is needed for lobsters’ habitation since it contains more oxygen than standing water.

Though there are some differences in the habitat of lobsters according to lobster species, overall, these requirements must be needed for a perfect habitat.

Do Lobsters Live in Saltwater or Freshwater?

Lobsters only thrive in saltwater, not fresh water. If they’re introduced to freshwater, they will die because of the differences in salinity and chemicals. Lobsters have to be able to regulate the amount of salt in their bodies to survive.

In salty water, they have evolved to be able to live in a state of isotonic equilibrium with their surroundings. This helps keep the water in their body tissues and the saltwater stable. 

On the other hand, a lobster’s body and the osmotic pressure of its surrounding water will be unstable when placed in freshwater, as in freshwater, there is no chance of osmosis there.

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Furthermore, with the decreasing salinity, lobsters’ heart rate continuously increases, and they become restless. They immediately suffocate in freshwater due to rapid blood-salt loss. Lobsters are unable to recover salt from their urine. 

As a result, the water will surge into the tissues, causing them to expand and finally burst. The lobster will consequently die.

Wait! one secret exists- if lobsters are kept in a moist place, they can survive a few more hours or days out of water. Here is more about how long lobsters live.

How Deep in The Ocean Do Lobsters Live?

Lobsters are more abundant in deep down water, around 500 meters (1600 ft), where there are plenty of rocks. But how deep lobsters live in the ocean, will depend on the species and season.

According to research, they are seen at the shoreline in the summer season as the underwater temperature remains so cold. When the weather begins to cool, they move back to the shelf. American lobsters travel upstream during the winter and spring.

How Do Lobsters Live?

Like other omnivorous crustaceans, Lobsters have adapted to their environment in interesting ways. They consume food, gain mass, shed their skins, reproduce, and exert force. After that, they mature into adulthood by coming out of their shell and getting bigger.

lobster habitat

This cycle continues throughout their life. Lobsters have mainly 3 stages of their life cycle: Eggs, Larvae, and Adulthood. After 5-8 years, lobsters become adults. They tend to live in self-dug tunnels, rocky nooks or hiding among seaweeds.

Here are some characteristics of their livelihood (A lobster’s life on the bottom of the sea):

  • They eat snails, crabs, sea urchins, sand fleas, clams, marine worms, shrimp, some plants(in the spring), and occasionally small fish.
  • In an opportunity to grow and develop, lobsters need to molt their shells. Molting is how they wriggle out of their old shells while also soaking up water, increasing their bodies’ size. The lobster will weigh about a pound once this cycle is complete.
  • One distinctive characteristic of lobster mating is that females need to shed their protective outer shell before mating. The female lobsters keep fertilised eggs under their tails for nine to twelve months. The female can exit with fertilised eggs after her shell has grown back after about two weeks. Every two years, a lobster female reproduces.
  • They generally hunt sluggish prey as they are slow-moving.
  • Prey is grasped and squeezed with their powerful claws.
  • If a lobster loses a claw or part of its body due to illness or injury, it can regenerate new legs, claws, and antennae. It ensures the long life of these creatures.
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Can Lobsters Live in Aquariums?

Yes, if the aquarium has seawater and adequate ventilation, lobsters will survive there. Lobster, as everyone knows, needs salty seawater to survive. And your lobster will suffocate and perish in a matter of hours if it doesn’t get any fresh air. Check the water temperature as a final step.


In brief, lobsters live in the cooler and salty water at the bottom of the ocean. Usually, they dwell alone in burrows or crevices beneath rocks. Saltwater is a must for lobsters to live, as they can’t thrive in freshwater.

However, lobsters don’t always live on the seafloor. They move closer to the coastline during summer and go back under the deep water in winter and spring. Therefore, lobsters prefer to live on sandy, rocky or muddy surfaces under the seawater.

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