CHARLESTON - Alabaster.

That's the new name for the albino alligator at the S.C. Aquarium.

The staff announced it Thursday after a month of public voting.

Lightning came in second, followed by D'wight Gator and Big Al.

Those monikers just don't emit the elegant ambience of Alabaster, a marble-like mineral used in art.

Edgar Allan Poe used to pine for women with alabaster skin. It means pale and translucent.

It's the pallor of those undead creatures in vampire novels.

It's a natural choice for a white alligator who stares with unblinking eyes, can't stand light and eats dead rats.

The albino gator has been one of the aquarium's most popular attractions since he went on display in March. People started suggesting names, and the staff picked four for a vote. Each name was assigned a number, so people could vote through text messages, "American Idol" style.

Signs with the new name probably will go up next week by the blackwater swamp exhibit where Alabaster abides, according to staff.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or