Two rare orange lobsters delivered to Tampa Bay area seafood market in same shipment

Two rare orange lobsters were found in the same shipment at Whitney’s Seafood Market in Hudson, Florida.

Whitney’s Seafood Market in Hudson receives a shipment of lobsters delivered twice a week from Maine.

But Monday’s delivery came with a rare surprise: not one, but two orange-colored lobsters.

The pair stood out easily among the rest of the pack.

Most lobsters have a muddy color, which helps them blend in with their surroundings and protect them from predators. But rare lobsters can be found in a variety of colors, including blue, white, and orange.

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According to the Maine Lobstermen’s Community Alliance, your chance of finding a lobster is about one in two million, while the rarest lobster is white – with a chance of finding one in 100 million only.

The odds of finding an orange lobster, meanwhile, are said to be one in 30 million, making the discovery at Whitney’s Seafood Market all the more remarkable.

Pictured: One of two rare orange lobsters found in the same shipment at Whitney's Seafood Market in Hudson, Florida.

One of two rare orange lobsters found in the same shipment at Whitney’s Seafood Market in Hudson, Florida.

However, this follows two other recent orange lobster finds, leading researchers to wonder if brightly colored lobsters are not as rare as once thought.

Last month, a bright orange lobster was rescued from a Red Lobster restaurant in South Florida, earning the nickname “Cheddar” after the chain’s cookies. Cheddar was then sent to Ripley’s Aquarium in South Carolina to be protected from predators – and the plate.

Photo: Cheddar the orange lobster found in a Red Lobster in Florida.

Cheddar, the orange lobster rescued from a red lobster in Hollywood, Florida. (Credit: Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach)

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A few weeks later, a second orange lobster was found at another Red Lobster restaurant in Mississippi. This was given the name “Biscuit” and was sent to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Tennessee.

“Orange lobsters are rare but perhaps not as rare as we originally thought,” Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies breeding manager Jared Durrett said in a statement. “Lobsters get their color from the pigments they ingest in their diet. If these orange lobsters are harvested from the same area, their localized diet may contain a pigment that, combined with lobster genetics, creates the orange coloration that we see.

Pictured: One of two rare orange lobsters found in the same shipment at Whitney's Seafood Market in Hudson, Florida.

One of two rare orange lobsters found in the same shipment at Whitney’s Seafood Market in Hudson, Florida.

Red Lobster later confirmed that the Cheddar and Biscuit were caught in the same fishing area. Ripley’s and Red Lobster are now teaming up to collect data from local fishermen to see if the unusual coloring is indeed based on what the lobsters eat.

As for the two orange lobsters found in the Tampa Bay area, owners of Whitney’s Seafood Market told FOX 13 they named the pair “Sonny” and “Cher.”

Photo: Two rare orange lobsters were found in the same shipment at Whitney's Seafood Market in Hudson, Florida.

Whitney said that in her 13 years of working with lobsters, this is the first time she’s seen an orange lobster, let alone two.

Whitney said the crustaceans were rescued from the steamer and will live out the rest of their days at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is building a habitat for the couple.

FOX Weather contributed to this report.

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