European lobster colour morphs in Channel Island waters

July 4th, 2011 by Richard Lord

Bright blue European lobsters, Homarus gammarus, with white markings are not very rare in Guernsey fishermen’s catches.  One or two may be caught each year.

Guernsey commercial lobster and crab fisherman Arthur Blondin landed on 30 June 2011 off Port Grat on Guernsey’s north-west coast a grey-blue lobster with no white markings.

Commercial Guernsey fisherman Arthur Blondin brought to the Guernsey Aquarium a pale grey-blue European lobster, Homarus gammarus, on 30 June 2011. In all his years of fishing he had never seen a lobster with this shade of blue before (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

During his 50 years of fishing he had never seen a lobster with this colour before.  He brought it to the Guernsey Aquarium, where the aquarium owner tried to find a home for it.

The European lobster brought to the Guernsey Aquarium by Guernsey commercial fisherman Arthur Blondin compared to a normally pigmented European lobster (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Because lobsters are territorial and cannibalistic they cannot share aquarium tanks.

One of the bright blue European lobsters, Homarus gammarus, inhabiting a tank at the Guernsey Aquarium (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Two bright blue lobsters already live at the Guernsey Aquarium.  These lobsters have white markings on the side of the cephalothorax and the abdomen.

A bright blue European lobster with the 'normal' white markings on the cephalothorax and the abdomen (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The Guernsey Aquarium also has an orange coloured lobster, which was brought from Jersey on the Corentine, which has seawater tanks for carrying live lobsters and crabs.

Steph Noel's orange European lobster at the Guernsey Aquarium (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Nicolas Jouault reported the capture of this orange coloured European lobster by Jersey fisherman Steph Noel near Icho Bank, South of St Helier, Jersey on 15 May 2011.  The Glaucus website reports that Steph Noel had caught only three similarly coloured lobsters in 27 years of fishing for them.

The orange European lobster captured by Steph Noel south of St. Helier, Jersey on 15 May 2011 now residing at the Guernsey Aquarium (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

The last orange lobster to inhabit the Guernsey aquarium was captured on 25 August 2003.  Crab potter Micky Guille captured an orange European lobster in 60 metres of water about ten miles south-west of Pleinmont, on Guernsey’s south west coast.  The lobster was held in a vivier until it was brought to the Guernsey Aquarium on 10 September 2003.

The pale orange European lobster, Homarus gammarus, captured by Micky Guille off Guernsey's south-west coast on 25 August 2003 (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

 

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