Cornwall

Rare orange lobster at Padstow hatchery

Jaffa the bright orange lobster
Image caption Staff at the hatchery have described the lobster as a "very queer specimen"

A lobster described by staff as a "one in ten million colour morph" has gone on display at a Cornish attraction.

The bright orange lobster has been called Jaffa by staff at the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow.

Staff at the hatchery have described the lobster as a "very queer specimen".

Most of the lobsters caught around the Cornish coast tend to be light brown or even a dark blue but staff at the attraction said very, very rarely were they orange.

Ben Marshall, senior technician, said "It would be great to have a pair, so that we could breed them and use their babies as natural markers to indicate movements of juveniles when released."

The charity released its last orange lobster called Thermidore back into the wild in 2010 after a couple of years of living at the hatchery.

Research and development officer Dr Carly Daniels said "What a lobster feeds upon might influence its colour, if it feeds on highly pigmented foods such as mussels or crabs it might be dark, or if it feeds on fish it might become paler.

"Colour morphs are different however. Colouration is due to several pigments found within the shell.

"The main pigment is called astaxanthin and the way it interacts with other proteins gives the range of colouration that you normally expect to see in a lobster."

The lobster was given to hatchery by a Paignton-based shellfish food company.

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