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Did anybody bring the two-tone butter?

A Maine lobsterman defies the odds by catching a rare two-colored crustacean

A Maine lobsterman defies the odds by catching a rare two-colored crustacean

Lobsterman Alan Robinson of Steuben, Maine, says he was shocked to find a two-toned lobster July 17 in Dyer’s Bay.

“I thought somebody was playing a trick on me,” says Robinson of the half-and-half lobster caught off his 31-foot fiberglass lobster boat. One half of the lobster is the typical mottled green color while the other side appears cooked — bright orange in color.

In Robison’s 20-plus years of experience, he has also caught a blue lobster, beating the one-in-a-million odds.

Robinson donated the two-toned lobster to the Mount Desert Oceanarium of Bar Harbor, Maine, where officials say the odds of finding this rarity are one in 50 million to 100 million. Bangor Daily News reports that this 1-pound lobster is the Oceanarium’s third two-toned lobster in its 35 years of existence.

Lobsters typically form the greenish-brown color from a blend of the primary colors: red, yellow and blue. A lobster’s growth pattern develops each half independently. Specialists at the Oceanarium report that this lobster has no blue in half of its shell.

Despite the odds of finding a half-and-half lobster, Kirk Tulk of Aspen Cove, caught one in Newfoundland’s Hamilton Sound June 6.

Tulk donated the lobster to the marine interpretation center in Terra Nova National Park, where Greg Stroud, interpretation specialist, reports, “One half of our lobster has the boiled orange-red color appearance from when the protein breaks down to show the underlying carotenoid pigment, so either the protein is missing or for some reason is producing a red color instead of green.”

Scientists from the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans will continue to study the oddity.