Calvin the rare calico lobster was saved from a Cambridge, MA Restaurant lobster pot this week after the chef took notice of the lobster’s yellow and orange spotted shell. Instead of serving him up, they decided to name the guy and put him safely aside. A calico lobster is exceedingly rare, about 1 in 30 million.Photo Tony LaCasse/New England Aquarium
The 1.5 pound lobster, dabbled in yellow, was found at Jasper White’s Summer Shack Restaurant in Cambridge when they were cleaning out a 1,200 gallon lobster tank. It is believed to have been caught off Winter Harbor, ME.
How it escaped notice before this is anyone’s guess.
According to the Boston Globe, Chef Jasper White was drawn to the singular lobster with the yellow spots: “We happened to be cleaning the tank and I happened to be there. One of my guys said, ‘Chef, look at this lobster,’ and from across the room I knew it was special.”
White estimates the rare lobster had been touched at least four times by human hands prior to being rescued. Normally all the lobster in the tank end up on a dinner plate. Jasper said he buys about 350,000 pounds of lobster annually for his restaurants.
The lucky lobster’s calico shell is caused by the inconsistent distribution of the pigment layers that usually combine to make uncooked lobsters look brown. Lobsters come in many colors, including brown, orange, blue and white — the most rare. Still a calico lobster is exceedingly rare.
Calvin was sent from the restaurant to the New England Aquarium in Boston for safe keeping.
“We say that yellow lobsters are about one in 30 million,” said Michael Tlusty, the director of research at the New England Aquarium.
Eventually the lobster will head to the Biomes Marine Biology Center in North Kingstown, R.I., where he will be displayed for school field trips and other educational purposes.
© Wayne Howe 2012