Fun Facts About the Female Lobster

What’s so special about a female lobster you ask? If you posed the question to her male counterpart, he might say that she’s way tastier than him (nice try, guy). In truth, there are a few interesting tidbits about the female lobster, or “hens” as they’re sometimes referred to when they mature, from taste to reproduction. 

Do Female Lobsters Taste Different? 

Females do have larger tales while males have larger claws, which could be attributed to mating. Females carry their eggs on their abdomens, while males compete for mating rights by crushing other males’ claws. However, unless you’re eating a lobster that still has its eggs, aka roe, a female lobster tail tastes just the same as a male’s. 

Since hens carry their unfertilized eggs around on their abdomens for prolonged periods of time, it’s not uncommon to catch a female on occasion that still has her eggs. If you have the opportunity to try the roe of a female lobster, you might find this coral-colored delicacy less salty and more sweet than other caviar. The usual consensus around roe is that it's absolutely delicious on its own, as well as a fantastic ingredient for seafood sauces. 

Where Do Baby Lobsters Come From?  

Lady lobsters have a pretty straightforward courtship with their cretaceous hubby, but not one as simplistic as the myth that lobsters mate for life. Instead, the alpha lobster finds his way to the top by battling it out with the other guys in an area where females will be nesting. After he’s successfully smashed enough claws to prove himself, he’ll set up a den near the girls’ nests, per BBC Earth

A female will then come knocking at his door by urinating some pheromones at the den’s entrance— Ahh, the romance. Subsequently, he’ll welcome her in and allow her to shack up for up to two weeks. During this time, she’ll shed her harder shell to give him easier access, and then grow back her protective layer after the deed has been done. 

Female lobsters can carry live sperm for up to two years before deciding to fertilize her eggs. Usually, she’ll hatch her eggs (up to 100,000) within 9-12 months once the waters are warm enough for her larvae to survive, according to NOAA Fisheries. Only about 3% of those little lobsters tend to survive.

How To Tell the Difference Between a Female and Male Lobster? 

Aside from the female's larger tail, there are some easier ways to tell their differences from a male. One being they’re extra fins, or swimmerets, on their bellies. This is to help them literally hold on to their eggs— they’re carrying tens of thousands of them on their abdomens after all. 

Another way to distinguish a lobster’s gender is specifically by the first pair of swimmerets. Males have harder ones that they use for reproduction while the females’ are softer. This is the most common and easiest way to tell the difference between them. 

Freshie’s Lobster Company Brings Fresh Lobster to You

We pride ourselves on serving lobster that is sustainably caught from Maine, so lady lobsters can make sure there’s plenty to go around. Come visit us in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah or Jackson, Wyoming to enjoy shellfish the way it was intended to be— totally fresh and loaded into amazing recipes!