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Species Name

Coenobita perlatus

Common Name
Strawberry or "Red" Land Hermit Crab
Colour

The Strawberry land hermit crab has a bright red exoskeleton and is usually much larger than the C.variabilis 'crazy crab' species.

Some have particularly pronounced white markings which make it look like a Strawberry hence the name "Strawberry Land Hermit Crab".

Habitat

"They can live for many months out of water but usually return to the shore quite regularly to wet themselves, change shells and release larvae from hatching eggs" (Healy, A . and Yaldwyn, J. 1970 p74)

Distribution

"Coenobita perlatus is aubundant on coral cays in the Coral Sea between Queensland and New Caledonia. Though found widely throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea to Samoa, this active scavenger is seldom seen on the islands in the Barrier Reef area. It does occur, however, on cays in the Swain Reefs, on islands of the Capricornand Bunker groups and on Lady Elliot Island, all at the extreme southern end of the Reef proper." (Ibid)

References

"These virtually terrestrial decapods have branched chambers richly supplied with blood vessels as well as gills, and can use atmospheric oxygen directly."(Ibid)

Ref: Healy, A . and Yaldwyn, J. (1970) Australian Crustaceans in Colour A.H. & A.W. Reed L: Sydney

Notes

Unfortunately the strawberry land hermit crab is no longer sold as pets in Australia due to dwindling numbers in the wild. It is against the law to take them from the wild, as both of the terrestrial (land dwelling) hermit crabs are protected by the wildlife conservation act. Only licencsed, skilled hermit crab harvesters are allowed to remove them and if you are caught you will be fined.

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