Crustaceans

Odd Calico-Colored Lobster Caught

05/17/2012

For those of you who love to eat lobster, you might think that the crustaceans sport the bright red coloration they do after being cooked.  That's not the case.  There are many different species of lobster, but the ones caught in U.S. waters and most often eaten here are the American lobster (Homarus americanus).  While living, American lobsters are typically a dark red-brown color with lighter red mottling.

Rarely, a blue lobster is caught in a lobster trap.  Recently an even rarer color pattern has been making news: the calico.

Captured off the coast of Maine, this odd creature surprised everyone with its extremely unlikely coloration.  It's quite stunning to look at.

Lobster_custom

The lobster was captured along with its normal-colored brethren and purchased by chef Jasper White’s Cambridge Summer Shack restaurant, where one of Chef White's staff noticed it while cleaning the 1,200 gallon lobster holding tank.  

Luckily for this lobster, who has been dubbed "Calvin," its oddity has spared it from the cook pot where it was orginally destined to end up.  It's now living at the New England Aquarium for the Biomes Marine Biology Center in Rhode Island, an ocean education facility. 

Experts at the aquarium estimate that only one in about 30 million lobsters are calico, making Calvin an animal oddity indeed!

Photo by Tony LaCasse/New England Aquarium


David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >
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