Hermit Crab (Pagurus benhardus)

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These Crabs have no hard carapace to protect themselves. and use discarded gastropod shells , such as Whelks for their home. As the Crab grows a new shell is selected . If disturbed they retreat into the shell, two claws blocking the entrance to the shell. The Hermit Crabs become apparent by when the normal static mollusc shell is seen to rapidly move . A closer look closer look reveals their stance is different and a the body extends from the shell apeture. It is Dextral or "right handed", the claw on the right being bigger than the left.A large hermit crab with a carapace length that reaches 35mm. Colour is reddish occupying any suitable shell such as Whelks.. Pincers are covered with thick, pointed protrusions, the massive right pincer has two rows of large protrusions and is without bristles.

Hermit Crabs have two species of commensal anemones associated with them

Key ID Features

Carapace with sharply pointed rostrum.
Chelipeds covered with uniformly distributed granules or small teeth.
Propodus of right chela with two rows of larger granulations, starting at the base and converging towards the middle.

Habitat Found on rocky and sandy substrata from mean tide level to 140 m


 By Arnstein Rønning (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons