A psychedelic lobster

From Yahoo News:

This May 9, 2012 photo provided by the New England Aquarium in Boston shows a rare calico lobster that could be a 1-in-30 million, according to experts. The lobster, discovered by Jasper White’s Summer Shack and caught off Winter Harbor, Maine, is being held at the New England Aquarium for the Biomes Marine Biology Center in Rhode Island. The lobster is dark with bright orange and yellow spots. (AP Photo/New England Aquarium, Tony LaCasse)

I have no idea what mutation this is, if it’s indeed a mutation (I suspect it is).  One possibility is suggested here.

h/t: Matthew Cobb


  1. Mary - Canada
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I think the video says it all!

    • daveau
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Either that link is worng, or JAC is totally trolling us. In which case, kudos to you, sir!

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted May 12, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        Love the kitteh though, even if he is the worng link!

  2. Jim Thomerson
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if it is a chimera.

    • Benjamin
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Could be due to a transposon induced mutation.

  3. cesiumfrog
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Do the variously sized circular spots suggest a signaling gene for the yellow is latching on randomly in a few cells over an extended interval of embryo development?

  4. Achrachno
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    It’s apparently just a rare genotype, and not necessarily a recent mutation. Google “yellow spotted lobster” and you’ll find a number of references to similar animals, and images.

  5. Posted May 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to be on an environmental influence, just to buck the trend :p Can I get long odds?

    • Achrachno
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Explosion at a nearby paint factory?

  6. S A GOULD
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I am just happy it made it to an aquarium and not a dinner plate.

  7. gravelinspector
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    This site
    Gives some reasonably authoritive-sounding information about crustacean colouration in general and lobster colouration in particular.
    You’ll have found several images going around of “half-and-half” colour morphs, where the left and right sides of the body have different colours. These are indicated to be hermaphrodites, suggesting an (unsurprising) linkage between colouration and sexual genetics.
    On the subject of lobster on-plate or on-seabed … I haven’t got the foggiest idea how to even start on one, and I’ve never had the inclination to learn. They look difficult to get into. But the fragments of carapace I’ve encountered in rocks or washed up on the beach look wonderfully complicated mechanisms.
    Vive le Zoidberg!

  8. Newman
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink


  9. Posted May 13, 2012 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    “I have no idea what mutation this is”

    A delicious, delicious mutation…

    • lanceleuven
      Posted May 13, 2012 at 2:38 am | Permalink


  10. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    Did we just got (cat)lick-LOLled!?

  11. BillyJoe
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    A 1 in 30 million chance is indistinguishable from no chance. You would not win a lotto draw in 6000 lifetimes with those odds. Therefore that creature does not exist.

  12. Posted May 13, 2012 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    Do you think they are evolving ways to be less appetising? Still looks very tasty to me.

  13. Jim Thomerson
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Given the billions of lobster eggs hatched every year, 1 in 30 million ought to happen from time to time. One in 30 million is not the same as 0, as any megalottery winner can tell you.

  14. Posted May 13, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I love that leaping kitteh – scratching my head as to how grey tabby has much to do with calico lobsters

    • Mary Gnusader Canada
      Posted May 13, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Perhaps it requires a leap of faith

  15. Marella
    Posted May 13, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I wonder how the opposite sex feels about this colouration? Not very favourable I assume or it would be more common perhaps.

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