A STRIKING electric-blue lobster found off the Berwickshire coast has been given a new home at the London Aquarium, after a short stay at the Natural History Museum this week.
The European lobster is typically a dark blue colour when it is alive. However, this specimen’s unusual colour stood out and was spotted by fishmonger Rex Goldsmith at Billingsgate Market, London.
“It’s the most striking blue lobster I have seen in my 30 years in the business,” said Rex, who was buying supplies for his shop, The Chelsea Fishmonger.
“It was too nice to put in a pot and boil,” he added.
Instead he contacted crustacean scientist Paul Clark at the museum who prepared a temporary tank for the lobster, pumping air through sea water, to help revive the animal.
The European lobster is closely related to the American lobster but is smaller and less aggressive. It can live to over 15 years in the wild. However, the species is heavily fished commercially so it rarely reaches this age.
European lobsters are dark blue with yellowish spots and cream-coloured undersides. This specimen probably hatched out with this colour as a result of a rare genetic variant.
Preserving the colour of spectacular specimens like this electric-blue lobster is not always guaranteed. The alcohol used in the process will bleach away the colour after a few years, says Paul.
However, this striking specimen will be on display at the London Aquarium, once it has been through quarantine, and so can be admired there for hopefully many more years to come.