Casitas: A location-dependent ecological trap for juvenile Caribbean spiny lobsters, Panulirus argus.

  • Published source details Gutzler B.C., Butler M.J. & Behringer D.C. (2015) Casitas: A location-dependent ecological trap for juvenile Caribbean spiny lobsters, Panulirus argus.. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 72, 177-184.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial shelters

Action Link
Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation
  1. Provide artificial shelters

    A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 1997–2002 of nine plots in a reef lagoon with seagrass meadows in the Caribbean Sea, Mexico (Lozano-Álvarez et al. 2010 – same experimental setup as Briones-Fourzàn & Lozano-Álvarez 2001) found that over the 2.5 years after deploying artificial shelters (‘casitas’), abundance of Caribbean spiny lobsters Panulirus argus increased in all plots but more so in plots with artificial shelters than those without, and that lobsters in plots with artificial shelters were bigger. Before deployment, all plots had similar lobster abundance (1.5–8 lobsters/ha). After deployment, abundance increased approximately four times more in plots with artificial shelters (17–83 lobsters/ha) than plots without (5–21 lobsters/ha). Plots with artificial shelters had bigger lobsters (31 mm) than sites without (24 mm). Ten ‘casitas’ (1.1 m2, 3.8 cm diameter entrance) were deployed in each of five plots (1 ha) (≤5 m depth) in July 1998. On six occasions before (December 1997–July 1998) and 22 occasions after (September 1998–November 2002) deployment, divers counted all lobsters across each ‘casitas’ plots and at four plots without casitas. For the ‘after’ surveys only, the carapace length of lobsters was also visually estimated.

    (Summarised by: Anaëlle Lemasson & Laura Pettit)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 20

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered speciesVincet Wildlife Trust