Unlock the Mystery: How Long Do Lobsters Live?

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red lobster ready to cook
photo by James Stiles licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Are you curious about how long lobsters live? Lobster lifespan is an interesting topic and can vary depending on their environment. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the molting process of a lobster, their reproduction and growth cycle, diet and nutrition for lobsters as well as common diseases they may suffer from – all in relation to the question: How long do lobsters live? So let’s dive right into it.

Table of Contents:

Lobster Molting Process

Molting is a natural process in the life cycle of lobsters, and it’s important to understand how often they molt and what benefits come with it.

What Is Molting?

Lobster molting is when an adult lobster sheds its exoskeleton so that a new one can form underneath. The old shell splits along the back of the animal, and then the lobster slowly works its way out. The molting duration varies between several minutes and hours, depending on the species and size. During this time, the lobster’s body swells up as water rushes into its new shell before hardening over time.

How Often Do Lobsters Molt?

The frequency of molts varies among species, but most American lobsters (Homarus americanus) will molt once or twice per year while growing rapidly during their first few years of life. Once they reach maturity, the molting frequency decreases to every 2-3 years or more, depending on the environmental conditions.

Molting is an essential process for the lobster’s growth and development, so it is important to understand how often they molt. The next sections will discuss lobster reproduction and growth cycle to provide a better understanding of the lifecycle of lobsters.

Key Takeaway: molting is an essential part of a lobster’s life cycle, usually occurring once or twice annually for younger lobsters before decreasing in frequency as the animal matures. Once it reaches maturity, the molting cycle of a lobster can become less frequent, varying from every 2-3 years or longer, depending on environmental conditions.

Lobster Reproduction and Growth Cycle

Lobsters possess amazing longevity, potentially living for half a century in their natural environment. Their reproductive and growth cycles play an important role in their long lives. Comprehending the mechanisms of their reproductive and development stages is essential for gaining insight into how lobsters exist, develop, and reproduce.

Reproductive Cycle:

Lobster mating occurs in summer when water temperatures reach about 55°F (13°C). Between June and August, when water temperatures reach about 55°F (13°C), female lobsters will lay their eggs. Once laid, the eggs take around 8-9 months to hatch into larvae which then become juvenile lobsters after another 6-7 months of development. After this stage, they become sexually mature adults capable of reproducing themselves.

Growth Stages:

A lobster’s life cycle consists of several distinct stages, including egg, larva, post-larvae or “megalopae” stage, juvenile stage, and adult phase. As they progress through each stage, their size increases and their shell color changes from a light brownish hue to a deep red color, as seen in most market lobsters today. The growth rate depends on food availability, so it varies greatly between individuals, but it typically takes 5–7 years for them to reach legal harvesting size (1¼ lb.).

Lobsters have complex reproductive cycles and growth stages that can be affected by various environmental factors. With a suitable diet and nourishment, lobsters can exist in their native habitat for extended periods. Having established the complex reproductive cycle and growth stages of lobsters, as well as their longevity when provided with adequate nutrition, let us now delve into the kind of diet necessary for them to thrive.

Key Takeaway: Lobsters can live for up to half a century, and their reproductive cycle is quite complex. They have an interesting reproductive cycle that involves mating in the summer and eggs hatching 8-9 months later, followed by another 6-7 months before they become sexually mature adults capable of reproducing themselves. The growth rate is dependent on food availability but it typically takes 5–7 years for them to reach legal harvesting size.

Diet and Nutrition for Lobsters

Lobsters, an ancient crustacean species, have been known to live up to a century in their natural environment. They require a balanced diet to remain healthy, consuming both plant and animal matter. The type of food sources available to lobsters varies depending on their natural habitat. Offshore lobsters usually feed on larger prey, such as cod and haddock.

When it comes to nutritional requirements for lobsters, they need an adequate amount of protein and calcium, along with other essential vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, and iron. Protein helps them build muscle mass, while calcium aids in shell growth. Lobster biologists recommend feeding your lobster various foods from different sources, including seafood pellets designed specifically for American lobster species (Homarus americanus).

Lobsters also tend to hide during the daytime, making it important to provide them with plenty of hiding spots throughout their tank environment so they feel safe enough to come out at night when looking for food scraps left over by aquarists or fellow tank mates. Nomadism, a behavior where lobsters migrate for short distances in search of food or better living conditions if necessary, is also seen among these marine creatures.

By understanding the types of food sources, nutritional requirements, and feeding habits of lobsters, you can help ensure they live healthy lives. To further protect them from harm, it is important to be aware of common diseases in lobsters and their causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Key Takeaway: Lobsters can live up to 50-100 years with a balanced diet of plant and animal matter. #LobsterExperts #SeafoodDelivery

Common Diseases in Lobsters

Conditions impacting lobsters can arise from various sources, such as ecological pressures, contaminated water, and overcrowding. Some diseases can be debilitating or even deadly if left unchecked, leading to significant distress for the lobster.

Pathogens such as viruses and bacteria, which can enter the body through open wounds or contaminated food, cause lobster disease. Pathogens can access a lobster’s body through wounds or contaminated sustenance. Environmental stressors like high temperatures or low oxygen levels also increase the risk of disease in lobsters. In addition, poor water quality due to pollution or overstocking can lead to increased disease in the lobster population.

Common signs of disease in lobsters include:

  • Sluggishness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Discoloration on their carapace (the upper section of the exoskeleton)
  • White spots on the body
  • Red patches on claws
  • Lesions near the eyes
  • Cloudy vision
  • Inflamed joints
  • Labored breathing or swimming motions
  • Distended abdomens (belly rot)
  • Bloated bellies filled with fluid (termed swim bladder disorder)
  • Crustacean tuberculosis resulting in shell malformations.

Treatment options for diseased lobsters vary depending on the type and severity of illness present. For mild cases involving bacterial infections, antibiotics may be administered orally or via injection into the body cavity near the heart muscle area. If viral infections are suspected, antiviral medications may need to be prescribed instead.

For more severe cases involving fungal infections, it is recommended that you consult a veterinarian who specializes in crustaceans before attempting any treatments yourself, as this could result in further complications down the line if done incorrectly. Additionally, improving overall water quality by regularly testing pH levels and maintaining proper filtration systems will help reduce instances of infection within your tank’s population over time.

Key Takeaway: Environmental stressors, poor water quality, and overcrowding can lead to various lobster diseases. Treatment options vary depending on the type and severity of illness present but may include antibiotics, antivirals, or consulting a veterinarian specializing in crustaceans to ensure proper treatment is given. Regularly testing pH levels and maintaining proper filtration systems will help reduce infection rates within your tank’s population over time too.

FAQs in Relation to How Long Lobsters Live

How long do lobsters live for?

Invertebrates like lobsters are known to have some of the longest lifespans, with certain species able to live up to 50 years or more. Providing an optimal habitat with adequate food sources can enable lobsters to live for extended periods in captivity.

Lobster lifespan is also affected by environmental factors such as temperature fluctuations and competition from other animals. The oldest recorded lobster was over 140 years old when it died.

Can lobsters live 200 years?

No, lobsters cannot live for 200 years. The oldest recorded lobster was estimated to be about 140 years old when it died in 2017. Lobsters may survive for up to half a century in the wild and can live even longer with proper care. Their longevity is attributed to their slow metabolism and regenerative capabilities, enabling them to survive extended periods without sustenance.

How old is a 20 lb lobster?

A 20 lb lobster is typically between 4 and 5 years old. The size of a lobster is determined by its species, age, diet, and habitat; larger lobsters tend to be older as they take longer to reach maturity. A larger lobster will usually be older than a smaller one due to its longer growth period. Once they reach maturity, lobsters cease to grow further, and their shells remain intact for the remainder of their lives.

What is the oldest lobster caught?

In 2018, an American Lobster (Homarus americanus) aged 110 was caught off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada – a record for its species. It weighed 20 lbs and measured 3 feet long. This ancient creature’s estimated lifespan of 140 years was a record-breaking discovery, suggesting that lobsters can live much longer than previously assumed and emphasizing the need to safeguard them for future generations.


Overall, lobsters can survive for up to a century in the wild and must molt regularly throughout their lives to stay healthy. They molt regularly throughout their lives as part of the reproduction cycle and grow by consuming nutrients from their diet. While they are quite resilient creatures, common diseases such as shell rot or bacterial infections can affect them if not properly taken care of – so it’s important to maintain their health.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh lobsters from professional farmers and have them delivered right to your doorstep for many more years. Experience the freshness of Maine Lobster House and have delicious seafood delivered to your doorstep. Join us today for a unique, long-lasting culinary experience!