Have You Heard About ‘Banana’ the Yellow Lobster?

lobster Nashua NH

Recently, a local fisherman in Biddeford, Maine, made a rare catch. With the odds of one in 30 million, you can imagine how surprised Marley Babb was when he pulled in a rare yellow lobster. Yes, you read that correctly, yellow. Here in Nashua, NH, lobster is a specialty at Bentley’s Roast Beef, but it certainly is not yellow. While Banana was donated to the University of New England for study, our interest was sparked. Here is a look into the wonderful world of colorful lobsters.


Some of the rarest lobsters in the world

Generally, lobsters feed on plants that contain red pigmentation called astaxanthin, which helps protect them from external stress. Other species of fish, such as salmon, do the same. The astaxanthin is stored in the skin, under the outer shell. Over time, this pigmentation travels to the shell where proteins alter, thus changing the color of the outer shell.

However, if one thinks of the common lobster, the color is muddy brown. According to the American Chemical Society, this “muddy” appearance is the combination of three layers that we see at once. While the pigments release from the skin and move into the shell, there are two outer layers created. The first layer is yellow, the second is blue, and the skin remains red. When combined as one, we’re left with mud.


In the case of Banana, this lobster lacked the proteins necessary to change the pigment color. Thus, we are left with a yellow lobster. But, even more rare is the blue lobster. While catching a yellow lobster leaves with the odds of 1 in 30 million, catching a blue lobster increases to 200 million.


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It’s all about the diet

As mentioned, astaxanthin creates the red hue we are accustomed to seeing with lobsters. Thus, diet is the number one factor concerning the pigmentation of the lobster. However, genetics also plays a role when you consider the process of transforming, or “flipping” proteins.


What’s even more interesting is that regardless of the color, all lobsters turn bright red when cooked.



UNE continues to work closely with local fishermen and Maine’s Department of Marine Research to study local marine life. And, here at Bentley’s Roast Beef, we continue to serve up the best lobster roll in Nashua, NH. But don’t take our word for it. Stop by today and taste the freshest seafood in the area for yourself!

Visit Bentley’s Roast Beef today at 134 NH-101A in Amherst, NH, or click here to place your take-out order.




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