17 photos - 8 species


 They get their name because they live in snail shells or similar high objects.

This behaviour is vital for them, as their rear end is soft and unprotected.

Because of their growth, they need ever larger shells.

Aniculus aniculus

Scaly-legged Hermit crab

 Maximum length: 10 cm

All species of this genus are large and very colourful.

They use empty snail shells as shelter.

Photo 1 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North - Sulawesi

Photo 2 Astrid: Hurghada Egypt

Calcinus rosaceus

Rosy hermit crab

 Maximum length: 3 cm

Both claws have spoon tips, the left one being larger.

Dark red with white spots, leg tips black.


Photos 1 - 3 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Ciliopagurus strigatus

Red-banded hermit crab, Red-striped hermit crab,

Halloween hermit crab or Cone shell hermit crab

 Legs and claws reddish-yellow ringed, with white flattened carapace.

Lives on algae-covered limestone rocks of reef roofs and lagoons as well as on rubble,

down to a depth of 20 metres.

It prefers to eat Conus snails, whose shells it then also takes.

Photo 1 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt

Dardanus lagopodes

Dark knee hermit crab

 Maximum length: 3 cm

Eyestalk white with black eyes.

Yellow antennae.

Lives in shells with a wide opening.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny. Hurghada Egypt

Photos 3 - 4 Johnny: Embudu Maldives

Dardanus pedunculatus

Anemone hermit crab

 Maximum length: 10 cm 

Left claw much larger than the right.

It lives on land and rubble and is nocturnal.

It carries anemones on its shell for defence.

If it needs a larger shell, take the anemones with you when you move.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North - Sulawesi

Paguristes cadenati

Red reef hermit crab or Scarlet hermit crab

 Maximum size: 2.5 cm

Bright red, some with white dots and greenish eyes on pale stalks.

During the day in small groups in the reef. 

Shy, when approached they retreat into their shell,

but if you wait patiently they come out again after a while.

Photos 1- 3 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean

Paguristes erythrops

Red-banded hermit crab

 Maximum size: 0.4 cm

Maximum depth: 1 - 190 m

Left claw usually larger than the right.

The size of 0.4 refers to the carapace length.

Photo 1 Astrid: Bonaire Caribbean

Pagurus brevidactylus

Shortfinger hermit crab

 Maximum size: 1.80 - 2.50 cm

Maximum depth: 0 - 50 m

These crabs need the shells of gastropods ( shell snails ) for their protection.

As the crayfish grows, it needs a new, larger home,

and as there are many species of crayfish,

there are sometimes disputes about who gets to live where.

Once the crayfish has found a new home, it pulls its abdomen out of the old shell

and very quickly puts it into the new home.

Very quickly because it is very vulnerable and unprotected

from predators during the relocation period.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean