Rare Lobsters Found in New York Supermarkets

Jul 2, 2013

Credit Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

Five rare, orange lobsters turned up at Price Chopper supermarkets in New York this week, including one in the Hudson Valley and another in the Capital Region. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne reports on the unusual occurrence and what will happen to the crustaceans.

Three of the orange lobsters were spotted at Price Chopper locations in Binghamton, Guilderland, and Middletown, in Orange County. Then came reports from the Price Chopper in Glens Falls Tuesday morning of another two. All are live, in tanks, and will be transported to regional aquariums and a zoo after July 4th. In the meantime, as Price Chopper’s Mona Golub describes, a trip to a few supermarkets has turned into more than just a shopping outing.

She says no one at Price Chopper has any recollection of ever having come across a rare, colored lobster. Until this first week of July.

So how rare is this genetic color mutation?

That’s Dr. Michael Tlusty, Director of Research at the New England Aquarium in Boston.

Price Chopper’s Golub confirms that the lobsters are, in fact, Canadian.

David Lee is a saltwater aquarist at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut.

And by one location, he means in one general place, given the five lobsters originated from the same supplier.

As Golub mentioned, the pardoned lobsters will soon be off to a life of educating the public. The orange lobster in Middletown will reside at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, in Connecticut. The two from Binghamton and Guilderland will have a new home at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, and the two from Glens Falls, as a result of connections made via the reporting of this story, will end up at Mystic Aquarium. Again, here’s Mystic Aquarium’s David Lee.

Orange is not the only rare color for a lobster. There is blue, calico, and the rarest - white, or albino.