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Photos: Multi-colored king crabs

Fisherman Frank MacFarland caught a blue red king crab on July 4, 2014.
AK Fish and Game
Commercial crab fisherman Frank MacFarland, left, holds up a rare blue king crab he found in his crab pots on July 4, 2014 aboard his boat Mithril. Biologists believe a genetic mutation caused the bright blue color.
Scott Kent / Alaska Dept.of Fish and Game
A piebald variety crab photographed by a fisheries observer in the 2013 summer commercial red king crab fishery.
Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game
Research biologist, Jenefer Bell holds a white red king crab captured during a fall pot survey last September (2013) in front of Cape Nome.
Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game
Anne Raup

Scott Kent was getting ready to go salmon fishing in the Norton Sound when he ran into commercial crab fisherman Frank MacFarland, who was delivering his latest catch.   

“He said, ‘I got one of those blue ones,’” Kent, the assistant area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Nome, said in a phone interview.

MacFarland held up a crab with a deep lavender shell, the likely result of a genetic mutation. It was a rare discovery, one that thrilled Norton Sound fishery managers and area biologists who said such sightings are few and far between. 

The red king crab that wasn't red appeared in Nome on July 4.