Toby the Blue Lobster

Toby the Blue Lobster

Homarus americanus

About Toby

Fisherman John Gourley caught Toby in 2012 on his boat, the Pot Luck, near Ocean City, Maryland. Because of his rare blue hue, Gourley generously donated Toby to the National Aquarium.

After going through a short quarantine period, Toby was transferred to our facility in Washington, D.C., where he joined the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary exhibit.

After our D.C. facility closed in September of 2013, Toby was transported to Baltimore and was added to the Atlantic Shelf gallery in the Maryland: Mountains to the Sea exhibit.

About the American Lobster

American lobsters, like Toby, are found along the eastern coast of North America. They are bottom dwellers and tend to settle on the ocean floor, where they hide in caves and crevices.

Lobsters have 10 legs, including two strong claws. One has big teeth to help crush shells, and the other has teeth like a steak-knife edge to help with cutting soft flesh.

Lobsters molt about 20 to 25 times in their lifetime, outgrowing their skeleton shell and shedding it to form a new one. Sometimes they even eat their old shell, which gives them calcium to harden their new shell.

Did You Know?

Toby's blue hue comes from a genetic variation that is present in every 1-in-2 million lobsters!


Lobsters are omnivorous. Their diet typically consists of a mixture of fish, crabs, clams, mussels, sea urchins and sea stars.


Lobsters can measure up to 3.25 feet in length and can weigh up to 40 pounds.




The average known lifespan of a lobster ranges from 20 to 50 years.


North Atlantic waters, from Canada to South Carolina

Population Status

Stable: American lobsters are not considered threatened, but overfishing could change that in the future.

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Holly Bourbon
Curator of Large-Fish Exhibits/Diving Safety Officer

As the curator of large-fish exhibits, Holly's day-to-day responsibilities include managing our staff of aquarists and making sure that all of the animals under our care are doing well! Learn More


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