Hermit Crab

Hermit Crab

Scientific name: Pagurus spp.

Phylum: Arthropoda

Subphylum: Crustacea

Class: Malacostraca

Order: Decapoda

Description: The Hermit crab has a pair of claws on first legs. Only 2 pairs of walking legs are fully developed, the other two are small and highly modified. They can be easily identified by their habit of carrying about a snailshell, and they can leave shells at will to search for a shell of ideal fit. Hermit crab has soft abdomen and are asymmetrically twisted.

Distribution: Hermit crabs are found from sub-arctic to Chesapeake Bay , living in both inter-tidal and sub-tidal marine areas.

Locomotion: Hermit crabs primarily move forward by flexion and extension of limbs.

Food gathering: Hermit crabs are predator. They grasp preys with enlarged front claws followed by tearing, grinding or shearing with various mouth parts. They eat live prey but also scavenge on dead animals.

Gas exchange: Hermit crabshave gills in branchial chambers for gas exchange. They use gill bailers (elongate exopods) that vibrate to create ventilating currents.

Reproduction: Scattered individuals find one another during mating season using same environmental cue. Sperm deposited directly into oviduct and females brood eggs until hatching occurs.
Interesting facts: Sometimes Hermit Crabs will steal the snail shells from each other.