A rare two-tone lobster has been gifted to the University of New England’s Marine Science Center in Biddeford.
The distinct lobster is marked by a pattern that divides its body down the center. The right half of its tail and its front right claw are a bright orange color, while the other half of its body is brown. The condition is considered to be a one-in-50 million occurrence, according to the UNE Marine Science department.
The new lobster will join Banana, the rare yellow lobster who was donated to the university in February.
Staff have suggested that the new lobster be named “Banana Split,” in honor of Banana.
“We are honored that local lobstermen entrust these rare animals to UNE’s Marine Science Center where we will use them in our teaching and outreach activities,” said Markus Frederich, an assistant professor of marine sciences.
Maine lobstermen have caught a number of rare lobsters over the past few years. A Maine fisherman hauled in an extremely rare “ghost lobster” off the coast of Stonington in 2018 and a calico lobster was caught off the coast of Scarborough in the same year. This past October, a completely blue lobster was caught off the coast of Vinalhaven.
Genetic variations in lobsters occur naturally, but the odds of catching a yellow, blue, calico or completely albino lobster are extremely low.
The chance of finding a blue lobster is one-in-two million, while finding a yellow lobster is a one-in-three million chance. Calico variations occur in approximately one out of every 30 million lobsters.
Meanwhile, the chances of finding an albino lobster are about one out of 100 million.