In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...
(Nephropidae, sometimes also Homaridae) of large marine crustacean
Crustaceans form a very large group of arthropods, usually treated as a subphylum, which includes such familiar animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill and barnacles. The 50,000 described species range in size from Stygotantulus stocki at , to the Japanese spider crab with a leg span...
s. Highly prized as seafood
Seafood is any form of marine life regarded as food by humans. Seafoods include fish, molluscs , crustaceans , echinoderms . Edible sea plants, such as some seaweeds and microalgae, are also seafood, and are widely eaten around the world, especially in Asia...
, lobsters are economically important, and are often one of the most profitable commodities in coastal areas they populate.
Though several groups of crustaceans are known as lobsters, the clawed lobsters are most often associated with the name. Clawed lobsters are not closely related to spiny lobster
Spiny lobsters, also known as langouste or rock lobsters, are a family of about 45 species of achelate crustaceans, in the Decapoda Reptantia...
s or slipper lobster
Slipper lobsters are a family of decapod crustaceans found in all warm oceans and seas. Despite their name, they are not true lobsters, but are more closely related to spiny lobsters and furry lobsters. Slipper lobsters are instantly recognisable by their enlarged antennae, which project forward...
s, which have no claws (chelae
A chela is a pincer-like organ terminating certain limbs of some arthropods. The name comes from Greek through New Latin . The plural form is chelae. Legs bearing a chela are called chelipeds. Another name is claw because most chelae are curved and have a sharp point like a claw....
), or squat lobster
Squat lobsters are decapod crustaceans of the families Galatheidae, Chirostylidae and Kiwaidae, including the common genera Galathea and Munida. They are not lobsters at all, but are more closely related to porcelain crabs, hermit crabs and then, more distantly, true crabs...