[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Caribbean spiny lobster Panulirus argus is a valuable fishing resource and the trade in frozen lobster tails is an important industry. However, the presence of the pathogenic virus Panulirus argus Virus 1 (PaV1), which causes systemic infection in P. argus and is particularly lethal to juvenile individuals, has not been previously examined in imported/exported lobster products. We used PCR assays to determine the presence of PaV1 in abdominal muscle tissue of 22 frozen P. argus tails exported from Belize to Mexico. Based on their size, the tails belonged to subadult-adult lobsters. Using specific primers targeted for PaV1 resulted in 11 tails showing a specific 499 bp band. The sequence of positive amplified fragments showed a high similarity to PaV1 (95% identity with GenBank accession no. EF206313.1). Although the pathogenicity of PaV1 was not evaluated in the present study, our results provide the first evidence of PaV1 in frozen lobster tails exported in the seafood industry as well as the first molecular evidence of PaV1 in adult lobsters.