A psychedelic lobster

May 12, 2012 • 12:17 pm

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

24 thoughts on “A psychedelic lobster

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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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