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The spiny lobster (Panulirus guttatus ) is a reef dwelling organism that hides in and under the coral formations by day and forages in the adjacent seagrass beds at night. Recent studies show that the free-floating embryonic stage of this species results in a wide distribution of larvae. It is believed that the larvae produced off the Tortugas eventually populate the reefs from Key West to Key Largo. (photo: Paige Gill - Florida Keys NMS)

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