By Michael Mander
Jaffa is The National Lobster Hatchery’s latest star attraction: a one in ten million colour morph orange lobster.
Lobsters are normally blue or dark brown around the Cornish coast, so it is extraordinary to encounter a bright orange one.
Ben Marshall, senior technician said at the hatchery, said: “This is a very queer specimen, It would be great to have a pair, so that we could breed them and use their babies as natural markers to indicate movements of juveniles when released – Jaffa brings a zesty appeal to our visitor centre.”
Research and development officer Dr Carly Daniels said “What a lobster feeds upon might influence its colour, if it feeds on highly pigmented foods such as mussels or crabs it might be dark, or if it feeds on fish it might become paler.
“Colour morphs are different however. Colouration is due to several pigments found within the shell.
“The main pigment is called astaxanthin and the way it interacts with other proteins gives the range of colouration that you normally expect to see in a lobster.”
The hatchery was given the lobster by a shellfish food company.