Aussie Land Hermit Crab - C. variabilis

learn more about coenobita perlatus - click me

Strawberry Land Hermits
C. perlatus

United States

learn more about coenobita clypeatus - click me

Coenobita clypeatus

Common names: Purple Pincers (PP's) or Carribean Land Hermit Crabs

image of  a pacific land hermit crab, Coenobita compressus - learn more about me by clicking on this image

Coenobita compressus

Common names: Ecuadorians (E's) or Pacific Land Hermit Crabs


Christmas Island Crabs

Three species of hermit crabs are present in large numbers - the Red hermit crab (Coenobita perlata) the Purple hermit crab (C. brevimana) and the Tawny hermit crab (C. rugosa). Photos from the Book 'Christmas Crabs' by John Hicks, Holger Rumpff and Hgh Yorkston pictured below.

red land hermit crab from Christmas Crabs
Tawny land hermit crab from Christmas Crabs
purple land hermit crab from Christmas crabs

More on the Crabs of Christmas Island

Coconut or Robber Crab (Birgus latro)

photo of a coconut crab, Birgus latro

The coconut crab is the largest living land arthropod. The coconut crab feeds on coconuts and other foods and until it reaches maturity it wears a shell for protection like the land hermit crabs. Coconut crabs grow very large, with some weighing 5 kilos and with a leg span of a metre! Coconut crabs got their name from observed behaviour in which they climb coconuts palms in search of the soft coconut meat which they obtain by using their powerful grasping claws to release the coconut and then use claws and legs to prise the cracked coconut shell open.

The robber crab (Birgus latro) listed in the IUCN Red Data Book (1981) as being vulnerable to extinction, is occasionally observed within the forest but was more abundant prior to harvesting by Cocos-Malays.

Three species of hermit crabs are present in large numbers - the Red hermit crab (Coenobita perlata) the Purple hermit crab (C. brevimana) and the Tawny hermit crab (C. rugosa)."

Africa>Nigerian Land Hermit Crab

Coenobita cavipes (Stimpson)

"East coast of Africa to Ryukyu Island and Bismarck Archipelago. Inundative releases in Andaman Islands."

Reference: Molluscs as Crop Pests

Edited by G M Barker, Landcare Research Hamilton, New Zealand

Publication Date: March 2002. Number of Pages: 472 Pages
Binding: Hardback. ISBN: 0851993206

Other references:


Nigerian land hermit crabs are seen as a delicacy in Nigeria, where they are sometimes eaten. Nigerian Land Hermit Crabs should not be confused with the Nigerian Moon or SoapDish crab, which is a 'true' crab. Susie Hewitt from Ireland owned two Nigerian Land Hermit Crabs, and you can find out more about them here.

Bahamas> Land Hermit Crabs


Belize> Land Hermit Crab


Christmas Island> Land Hermit Crabs

Land Hermit Crabs on Christmas Island

Cook Islands> Land Hermit Crabs

"IIsland of Aitutaki: Located a mile from the harbor, the Rapae has a great location on a shell filled beach that is home to thousands of lively hermit crabs."


Guam> Coenobita brevimanus

Native to Guam. They are known to be both terrestrial and marine animals. Mostly located near beaches their diet includes fruits, coconuts, rotting wood, detrious, carrion and almost anything they can find.


Seychelles> Land Hermit Crabs


Singapore> Coenobita cavipes




Singapore> Coenobita spinosa

Taiwan> Coenobita rugosus

Coenobita rugosus H. Milne Edwards, 1837


Thailand> Land Hermit Crabs

Land Hermit Crabs in Thailand

Virgin Islands> Land Hermit Crabs

The Hermit Crabs of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands can be found everywhere. Those pictured on this page happened to be traversing the path to Savannah Beach

Land, Marine and True Crabs by eNature.com

West Indies

Hermit Crabs of the West Indes

More information: http://biomar.free.fr/hermit_crabs.html

[ What are land hermit crabs? ] [ Hermit Crab Anatomy ] [ Land Hermit Crab species ]

[ Life cycle of land hermit crabs ] [ Hermit Crab Lesson Plans ] [ Teaching Resources ]

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You can view a lot of my updated caresheets and articles on

The Crab Street Journal Magazine at http://www.crabstreetjournal.org