IT WILL be ‘all white’ on the night again as albino lobster Claws came face-to-face with his former self after moulting.
Staff at Weymouth Sea Life Park breathed a sigh of relief after their one-in-a-hundred million albino lobster Santa Claws moulted and turned out all white again.
The unique crustacean was given to the Weymouth attraction by an astonished Bridport fisherman just before Christmas 2011 – hence his festive themed name.
After his moult Claws posed for a picture with his former self.
Curator Fiona Smith said: “It was odds on his new coat would still be white, but when an animal is as rare as this one there’s always that anxious feeling that maybe his white shell was a one-off aberration and the next one would be the normal bluey-grey.”
Claws lives in the outdoor rock pool feature and since arriving at the park he has grown a few centimetres, hence his need to moult and get a new coat.
Aquarist John Elliott said: “Lobsters manage to squeeze out of their shell leaving everything intact, even the claws.
“So now we can put his old suit on display and use it to amaze visitors with when we’re showing off Santa and passing on a few secrets of lobster biology.”
There is a brief period after shedding their shells when lobsters are soft-bodied and vulnerable to attack, so they usually fine a handy hole to hide in until their new shell hardens.
Happily for Santa Claws, in his private submarine home, there was no such danger.
Staff have been trying to brush off a growth of algae on his shell but Claws has decided the feature is there to stay and won’t let them brush him, swiping his claws around to show his displeasure.