donut peach

Moreton Bay bug

The Moreton Bay bug (Thenus orientalis), also known as the Bay lobster, is a species of slipper lobster found throughout the waters of Australia's north coast. It is a relatively expensive delicacy served in many restaurants in Queensland.


Thenus orientalis has an Indo-west Pacific distribution, meaning that it is found in the Indian Ocean and western parts of the Pacific Ocean. The distribution stretches from the east coast of Africa to the Red Sea, southern Asia, China and Japan as well as the Philippines, Indonesia and the northern half of the coast of Australia, including Moreton Bay, from which it derives its common name.

Culinary uses

The flesh of the Moreton Bay bug is reported to be unusually versatile, and can be cooked in a variety of ways, including deep-frying, boiling/poaching, steaming, or stir-frying. One common way of preparing this lobster in Thai cuisine is by deep-frying the chopped pieces in a garlic and turmeric flour coating.

Further reading

  • Holthuis, L. B. (1946). "Biological results of the Snellius Expedition XIV. The Decapoda Macrura of the Snellius Expedition. I. The Stenopodidae, Nephropsidae, Scyllaridae and Palinuridae". Temminckia 7 1–177 11 pls [106].
  • Jones, C. M. (1990). "Morphological characteristics of bay lobsters, Thenus species, Leach (Decapoda, Scyllaridae), from north-eastern Australia". Crustaceana 59 (3): 265–275.
  • Jones, C. M. (1993). "Population structure of Thenus orientalis and T. indicus (Decapoda: Scyllaridae) in northeastern Australia". Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser. 97 (2): 143–155.
  • Lund, N. T. (1793). "Slægten Scyllarus. Iagttagelser til Insekternes Historie. I.". Skr. Naturh.-Selsk. Kiobenhavn 2 (2): 17–22.

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