Sexing a Lobster

Lobster Specimen - Cooked to Perfection!

Lobster Specimen – Cooked to Perfection!

I’ve been privileged to eat lobster in Maine since I was a very little girl. Every time we have a lobster dinner (or brunch as we did today), we thank the lobster for feeding us. If I had to kill the live animals that I eat, I’d probably be a vegetarian. But being closer to the food we eat is, I believe, an eye-opening experience. I am grateful to my parents, my foodie friends, and all of those who have given me perspective on eating animals. Or crustaceans. As it were.

If I were on death row and had to choose a last meal, mine would be a Maine lobster. Not a rock lobster like you get in the islands or in some fancy schmancy restaurants. A Maine lobster. And the first thing I’d do when I got it is the same thing that I have done no matter where I’ve eaten a lobster for as long as I’ve lived – find out whether it’s a boy or a girl. Yup! I know how to sex a lobster.

Today’s lobster will be my example. When you flip the lobster over (and you must), it looks like this. At the top of the picture are the legs which you’re going to want to pull off and eat. But it’s the first set of “flippers” that is critical to deciding whether your lobster is male or female. You can see that my finger is pointing to the first pair of flippers (under the legs and before the soft flippers that are under the tail.


The first set of flippers will tell you if it’s a boy or a girl.

The next picture is a better one. If it is hard it’s a boy (as mine was today). If it is soft like the rest of the flippers, it would have been a girl. Next time I have a lobster and it’s a girl, I’ll post a picture, too. The only real difference that I can figure out is that the females have roe or clusters of eggs inside the body cavity. Some people (my father, for example, and my brothers) like to eat the roe. I do not. Nor do I like the tamale (since I learned what it was. If you like it, don’t find out.) But I do love my Maine lobsters! And when I’m done with it, there’s nothing (NOTHING!) left that is edible.


It’s a boy!
Get your mind out of the gutter. It’s a flipper!)

It was good. And gone in a flash!

Gone knitting!

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