'Mutant' crustaceans at Newquay aquarium


Cornish fishermen have handed in three very unusual crustaceans to the Blue Reef aquarium in Newquay in recent weeks.

An albino velvet swimming crab, Necora puber, was donated by Cameron Henry who fishes out of Mylor. He landed the crab while lifting his crab pots about a quarter of a mile off Flushing near Falmouth.
Velvet swimming crabs are usually a greenish-blue colour, with deeper purple markings giving them excellent camouflage which makes the aquarium's specimen's survival all the more remarkable as it would have been an easy target for predators.
The crab gets its common name from the short, soft hairs that cover its body. Also known as 'devil crabs', partly due to their distinctive red eyes, and partly because of their aggressive nature when threatened, they are common residents around the UK coast, growing to around 100mm/4' carapace size. They are fished commercially but most of the catch from UK waters is sold to Spain and France.
The other oddities are two mutant common lobsters, Homarus gammarus, handed in by St. Just fisherman Steven Tregeer and Mylor fisherman Ned Bailey.
What makes these two lobsters so unusual are their claws. Normal lobsters have an enlarged right 'crushing' claw, and a finer left 'cutting' claw but the first specimen, now called 'Edward Scissor-hands' by aquarium staff' has two cutting claws, while the second one, called 'Popeye' has two crushing claws.
Blue Reef's David Waines said: "On his own, Edward was an extremely unusual find. So for Popeye to have been caught within the space of just a few weeks is nothing short of extraordinary!"