Rare Split-Colored Lobster Caught off Maine Coast

The lobster is orange and brown in color

A rare, two-toned lobster has been caught off the coast of Maine. It's part orange, part brown, and could be close to "one of a kind," according to some researchers.

The rare catch was discovered in a tank at the Pine Point Fishermen's Co-Op in Scarborough. Employees don't know which fishermen brought it in, but they think it was caught in the Scarborough area.

It resembles a split lobster, which is typically orange on one side and brown on the other, split down the middle. But this one has a unique pattern. Only its tail is split down the middle. Its body is all brown. One claw is orange, and one claw is brown.

"There's probably quite a few genetic mutations that created that type of pattern," said Adam Baukus, a scientist at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Baukus said he has never seen a split lobster quite like this one.

Another rare feature is its sex. Most split lobsters are hermaphrodites, but this one is all female.

"It's really strange," Mike Chasse, the co-op's warehouse worker, said. 

The Co-Op has not decided if the lobster will be taken to a museum or aquarium yet. A representative from the Maine State Aquarium has expressed interest in displaying it.

For now, she's at the Co-op in a separate tank. Tourists and customers have been stopping by to see her.

"Scientists are interested in it," said Chasse, "so I figured it would be in better hands here than in a pot."

According to research by the Lobster Institute, the chance of finding a split-colored lobster is one in 50 million. The institute reports that only the albino lobster is rarer, with the chances of catching it at one in 100 million.

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