How Rare Is Rare for a Lobster?

Two friends of mine rescued a very rare yellow lobster from the seafood section at a local grocery store and found her a new home in a New Hampshire aquarium. Now they are writing a children’s book about her. Follow the adventures of Libbie the Lobster…

Libbie the Lobster

When I began researching the beautiful yellow lobster we later named Libbie, I found articles that reported she was 1 in 30 million, others that said 1 in 20 million. I learned that other lobsters are quite rare too. For example, albinophoto lobster2 lobsters are the most rare, next are the yellow, followed by calico, blue and even a rare two-toned lobster.

So I began to wonder, What causes this anomaly? And, If so many are found, then why are they rare at all?

As with all life it seems, the color of a lobster is determined by both genetics and environment. Slight genetic mutations occur throughout nature. Libbie was likely a result of this sort of mutation. But environment can also play a role. Because yellow lobsters seem to be found in certain common areas along the coast, it has been hypothesized that certain algae could be the culprit.

I…

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