Balmain Bug

Bug Balmain
© Tasmanian Government. Image Peter Gouldthorpe
Season: Open all year

bag limit-


possession limit-


boat limit-


Guide to symbols

bagBag Limit
housePossession Limit
boatBoat Limit

Minimum size


Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.

Other names

Scientific name

Ibacus peronii

Grows to

Up to

80mm in carapace length

Identifying features

​These unusual medium-sized lobsters have a distinctive broad, flat-shaped shell, small legs and no pincer claws. They have shovel-like antennae at the front which they use to dig into soft substrates. They have five pairs of legs and are orange-red in colour. Sometimes confused with the Moreton Bay bug but can be distinguished by its more elongated shape and eyes that are further apart.


Found in sandy bottom from 4-280m in depth.

Fishing information

Balmain bugs are a type of slipper lobster, closely related to rock lobsters. They are occasionally encountered by recreational divers or fishers, but more commonly seen on commercial scallop vessels.


These slipper lobsters are safe to handle but take care around the tail which has sharp edges.

Public Health advice

Follow any public health alerts relating to eating wild shellfish - refer to the Department of Health and Human Services or phone their hotline on 1800 671 738.​


Usually boiled in a similar manner to rock lobster, Balmain bugs have most of their meat in the tail.


Fishwatch Report illegal fishing

0427 655 557

What to report? arrow button

Contact us

Recreational Fishing

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647


Commercial Fisheries

Level 3, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550


Commercial Fisheries Licensing

Level 1, 134 Macquarie St

GPO Box 44

Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550