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Hermit Crabs: More Information

Description: Slender, jointed legs and long, delicate antennae peek out (up to an inch) from beneath the edge of the stubby spiral of the black snail shell, along with short eyestalks and small-but-busy mouthparts.  Undisturbed, hermit crabs jostle and jerk along the tidepool bottom and through the seaweeds:  slow moving snail shells are probably actually snails, fast moving snail shells are probably hermit crabs inside old snail shells.

Slender, jointed legs and long, delicate antennae peek out (up to an inch) from beneath the edge of the stubby spiral of the black snail shell, along with short eyestalks and small-but-busy mouthparts. Undisturbed, hermit crabs jostle and jerk along the tidepool bottom and through the seaweeds: slow moving snail shells are probably actually snails, fast moving snail shells are probably hermit crabs inside old snail shells.Look closely at the legs and antennae of the hermit crabs—several different species can be found in Oregon tidepools in different tidepool zones

Bright turquoise bumps on the legs and unbanded red antennae?  Likely it is the grainy hermit crab or possibly the blue-handed hermit crab if it has bright blue bands on its legs. Both these species prefer the shells of the black turban snail.

“Hairy” legs with white banded legs?  Much hairier than its cousins, it is likely the hairy hermit crab.

 

 

Taxonomy:

  Kingdom Animalia  -- Animal, animals, animaux  
     Phylum Arthropoda  -- arthropodes, arthropods, Artrópode  
        Subphylum Crustacea Brünnich, 1772 -- crustaceans, crustáceo, crustacés  
           Class Malacostraca Latreille, 1802  
              Subclass Eumalacostraca Grobben, 1892  
                 Superorder Eucarida Calman, 1904 -- camarão, caranguejo, ermitão, lagosta, siri  
                    Order Decapoda Latreille, 1802 -- crabes, crabs, crayfishes, crevettes, écrevisses, homards, lobsters, prawns, shrimp  
                       Suborder Pleocyemata Burkenroad, 1963  
                          Infraorder Anomura MacLeay, 1838  
                             Superfamily Paguroidea Latreille, 180

Common species: 

Pagurus granosimanus (Stimpson, 1859) -- grainyhand hermit, grainy hermit crab

Pagurus hirsutiusculus (Dana, 1851) -- hairy hermit crab

Pagurus samuelis (Stimpson, 1857) -- blueband hermit, blue-handed hermit

Taxonomic information source: ITIS.gov