About nine months ago on 16 April 2016, S.E.A. Aquarium welcomed its first American blue lobster. Since then, this rare crustacean has undergone some pretty amazing transformations, including moulting.
Brand new shell
Moulting (in lobsters) refers to the periodic shedding of their carapace to accommodate their growing body.
During the first week of November 2016, about seven months after its arrival, our aquarists noticed that the lobster appeared unusually restless, and was often seen walking around its habitat – signs that it may moult soon.
The American blue lobster is outgrowing its increasingly small and uncomfortable carapace, which explains its restlessness. At the same time, it is assessing its environment. In the wild, the lobster would search for a suitable environment in which to moult. This is because once it moults, its new shell is very soft and susceptible to predator attack. So it needs to ensure that it has a safe environment to moult and wait out till its new shell hardens sufficiently.
——–– Jason Lim, Senior Aquarist at S.E.A. Aquarium
Two days after this restless behavior was noted, the lobster moulted and this is how its old carapace looks like:
After moulting, the lobster remained in its ‘cave’ for several days while its shell hardens, before re-emerging to engage in its normal activities.
Bigger and more blue
Over the past nine months, the American blue lobster has been feeding well on a diet of clams, crabs and fish. It has since grown by about 20%-30%, with its claws showing the most obvious growth.
After moulting, it now sports a brighter blue carapace.
The American blue lobster habitat is located near the Coral Garden at S.E.A. Aquarium. Check out what happened when it first arrived at the Aquarium, as well as these 8 mind-boggling facts about them.