Dear Blue Lobster:
Recently I bought a blue yabbie and a electric blue. I know electric blue lobsters are usually many different breeds all thrown into the same name but I have one that's exhibiting really odd coloring. He looks like the standard blue at 6 inches or so except his last molt he developed bright orange almost see through sides to his claws, the part that's stationary not on a joint.
One more thing, my blue yabbie was very brown except for his claws when i purchased him, after 5 molts he seems to be slightly turning blue and developing red spots along his tail but I'm worried if he will ever turn the bright blue or dark black I see from others pictures, and if so, how long should I expect?
Its amazing looking but I was hoping you could tell me the reason behind this. From your last posts I gather it may possibly be mating colors.
Thank you tremendously for your time and please keep up your highly informative blog.
Dear Gentle Sir:
Your guess of mating colors is a good one, though it's hard to tell what species you're working with as there are at least a dozen species with blue morphs; there are likely three or four times as many that just haven't been documented properly yet. One is lucky to see even the label "crayfish" at pet stores.
As to why the drastic change in color has happened so recently, another factor might be at play aside from mating colors. When cohabiting different species, mating colors can mean that the two species are attempting to intimidate one another in order to establish dominance. Since their tankmate's body shape and language aren't as expected, mating colors are a surefire way to show off.
There's no telling what direction their color changes might take unless you were able to identify what species they were; likewise their mating morphs might prove helpful in doing so.
As for worrying about the crays color changes, I would instead recommend that you sit back and watch the fireworks. Animal adaptability is a wonderful phenomenon to watch and, so long as your crays are not violent with one another, you might as well marvel at their chromatic displays.
For the record, species known to have blue color morphs include Cambarus diogenes, gentryi, and monogalensis; Cherax destructor, quadricarinatus, and tenuimanus; Orconectes immunis and obscurus; Pacificastus leniusculus; and Procambarus acutus, alleni, and clarkii.