Clawdia, with her red shell and large three and a half pound body, surely stands out among the lobsters at Claudio’s restaurant in Greenport. That’s because she is the rare red lobster who is still kicking — or rather clawing — as her pigment is likely due to genes rather than a pot of boiling water.
She came in from a shipment from Canada earlier this week and easily distinguished herself from the crowd of brown/black live lobsters. So instead of going on diner’s plate, she was given a name and taken off the menu.
“We get several hundreds pounds every week during the summer. In the middle of the shipment, instead of finding lobsters that are the normal coloration, we found one that was cooked,” said co-owner Bill Claudio. “Or it looked like it was cooked.”
The chances of finding a live red lobster are about 1 in 10 million, according to the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine. One arrived in a shipment at Two Cousins Fish Market in Freeport earlier this year and a blue lobster was once delivered to Claudio’s several years ago, according to Mr. Claudio (that has a 1 in 2 million chance).
Even rarer is the yellow lobster, which is 1 in 30 million, one of which was found and brought to the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead last year.
Mr. Claudio placed Clawdia on a serving tray and introduced her to customers in the dining room on Wednesday afternoon. She was met with gasps when diners realized her antennae were still moving. They quickly pulled out their cell phones and snapped photos of the unusual crustacean.
“I think she’s gorgeous,” said Maryellen Kelly of Port Jefferson Station.
“The more I looked at her, the more I realized I could never eat her,” added her mother, Eileen Dean of St. James.
Likely, no one will. Mr. Claudio is in talks to find a home for Clawdia at an aquarium or marine facility.