Written by Owen Boss
Last October, a Salem fisherman named Dana Duhaime pulled up a lobster with an orange side and a black side, perfectly split down the middle, in seasonally appropriate Halloween colors.
Duhaime generously donated the bizarrely colored lobster to the New England Aquarium in Boston. However, all new animals require at least a 30-day quarantine before going on display, and so the Halloween lobster didn't make it on exhibit in time for the big holiday last year.
This year, "Pinchy" will be on prominent display through Sunday, Nov. 3 as she helps celebrate the season.
Pinchy has grown over the past year, and the molt of her discarded but amazing, two-toned old shell will also be shown by Aquarium educators.
Duhaime named the catch Pinchy in honor of a giant lobster thatappeared in a Simpsons TV episode.
Perfectly split-colored lobsters are extremely rare occurring in about 1 in very 100 million lobsters Lobster scientists theorize that the bizarre duality of splits is caused by a complete cellular division when the lobster egg is first fertilized.
Splits sometimes show the sexual characteristics of both genders, but this lobster is a female.
Orange and black is the most common combination in lobsters that have a perfectly symmetric split in body color.
One side has the normal, very dark, live lobster coloration and the other side has a distinct pumpkin glow. The normal mottled dark color of live American lobsters is a product of red, yellow and blue hues that are bound together by proteins. Orange lobsters or half-orange lobsters have their unusual color due to a lack of the blue coloration.