Sunday, October 3, 2010

maine lobster.............a rare calico bug

a rare calico lobster is on display at the Portland Lobster Company on commercial street in the old port of portland, maine's busy fishing community... the creature is sporting a mottled orange and black shell rather than the usual deep green and red shell that is so common to humerus americanus... this bug was caught by larry and crystal dunne, who have been harvesting maine bugs for years off the coast... the saco couple pulled up this calico bug on august 25th, 2o1o off the tip of cape elizabeth while aboard their boat, the bushwhacker... the Portland Lobster Company is 'boarding' the calico crustacean until the Dunne's can find it a new home- or a pot of boiling salted water.....! calico lobsters are one of the rarest of multicolored lobsters in the sea... a blue bug is one in a million and a yellow or orange bug is one in thirty million, reports a lobster scientist from The Lobster Conservancy... calico's are rare, only albino's are rarer, just how rare is anyones guest... discolored shells are a genetic trait... in twenty-five years The Lobster Conservancy has only had two or three calicoes reported by local lobstermen... the maine state aquarium in west boothbay has a tank full of unusual 'bugs'... some are half multi-colored and the half is normal... the bugs have been donated by local lobstermen who believe strongly that it is GOOD luck to catch a mis-colored bug, but BAD luck to eat one.....! the Dunne's have been working their way through the entire lobster color spectrum... her husband has caught both blue and yellow specimens in the past few years... finding a permanent homestead for this calico creature may be harder than usual this summer though, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in portland has had so many donations, including an awesome albino this season that it has run out of room... no one knows why so many off-colored 'bugs' are showing up off the coast of maine this year... this is an unusual summer- so draw some local creamery butter, cook some native sweet corn-on-the-cob, make a classic wild maine 'low-bush' blueberry pie and cook that calico bastard then get crackin'..........! ( check out maine buggin' a documentary about the maine lobster industry )