Life and Adaptions to Water - Land Hermit crab

Information from the Museum of South Australia about the land hermit crab, Coenobita perlatus, in the wild. Information on Mangroves and threats to land hermit crabs in the Darwin area. "Land hermit crab : Coenobita perlatus. Coen = common obita = downhill, destruction

Fun Quicktime Movie of a C. perlatus hermie

Terrestrial Hermit Crab; Crazy Crab

Hermit Crabs on Rotnest Island



Seychelles Island

Land Hermit Crabs on Seychelles


Family : Coenobitidae
Genus : Birgus - Species : Birgus latro L.

Genus : Coenobita - (species found on the Seychelles islands)

Coenobita perlata
Coenobita perlata
Coenobita brevimanus
Coenobita brevimanus

Coenobita cavipes

Species : Other Coenobitidae - (not occuring in Seychelles)

Coenobita purpurea in an Achatina shell
Coenobita sp.


The Invasion of Land by the Post-Larval Stage of the Terrestrial Hermit Crab, Coenobita compressus (Ecuadorian Land Hermit Crab): The Importance of Larval Age and Preliminary Evidence for a Developmental Clock

Movements of the terrestrial hermit crab

Basic Classification of Coenobita Clypeatus

Professor Robert Thacker's Research:

Thacker, R.W. 1998. Avoidance of recently eaten foods by land hermit crabs, Coenobita compressus. Animal Behaviour 55: 485-496.

Thacker, R.W. 1996. Food choices of land hermit crabs (Coenobita compressus H. Milne Edwards) depend on past experience. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 199: 179-191.

Thacker, R.W. 1994. Volatile shell-investigation cues of land hermit crabs: effect of shell fit, detection of cues from other hermit crab species, and cue isolation. Journal of Chemical Ecology 20(7): 1457-1482.

Small, M.P. and R.W. Thacker. 1994. Land hermit crabs use odors of dead conspecifics to locate shell sources. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 182: 169-182.

RESEARCH ARTICLES on Land Hermit Crabs

Bertness, MD, (1981) Predation, physical stress, and the organization of a tropical rocky intertidal hermit crab community. Ecology 62:411-425

Childress, JR, (1972) Behavioural ecology and fitness theory in a tropical hermit crab. Ecology 53:960-964

D.D. 1988. Taking a crab's eye view of the world. Science News 133(March 12):167.

Gherardi, F, Zatteri, F, Vannini, M (1994) Hermit crabs in a mangrove swamp: the structure of Clibanarius laevimanus clusters. Mar. Biol. 121:41-52

Lively, CM, (1988) A graphical model for shell-species selection by hermit crabs. Ecology 69:1233-1238

Thacker, R.W. 1998. Avoidance of recently eaten foods by land hermit crabs, Coenobita compressus. Animal Behaviour 54(February).

Vance, RR (1972) Competition and mechanism of coexistence of three sympatric species of intertidal hermit crabs. Ecology 53:1062-1083

Wilber Jr, TP, Herrnkind, WF (1984) Predaceous gastropods regulate new shell supply to salt marsh hermit crabs. Mar. Biol. 79:145-15

The Coconut Crab: aspects of Birgus latro biology and ecology in Vanuatu
Authors: Brown, I.W. and Felden, S.R

Monographs MN08, 1991
This publication details the methods used and the important results obtained from the ACIAR sponsored project 'Growth and recruitment of coconut crab populations in Vanuatu'. The research was done in response to a request by the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu of information on the coconut crab Birgus latro which could be widely and easily disseminated. It is hoped non-scientists as well as scientists will appreciate the coconut crab as the valuable commodity it is believed to be, and will stimulate everyone involved in the management of renewable natural resources, particularly in the small islands of the Pacific, to become more active in conserving the remaining stocks of coconut crabs. Summaries of these results are included in this volume.

United Kingdom

Ecology of tropical hermit crabs at Quirimba Island, Mozambique: a novel and locally important food source

Marine Ecology Progress Series MEPS 161:299-302 (1997)
David K. A. Barnes. Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology, University College Cork, Lee Maltings, Cork, Ireland** and Frontier, The Society for Environmental Exploration, London, United Kingdom




The Biology of the Hermit Crab

This website produced by the "Crustacea Laboratory at Museum Victoria" is an invaluable resource for research on the topic if Hermit Crabs. The information is not specifically about land-based hermit crabs but it does cover issues such as Anatomy, Reproduction, Sense Organs and Distribution. There is a wonderful photo of a Hermit Crab zoea (infant stage of hermit crab) which is a must to see.

Australian Museum Fact Sheets - Arthropods

Interesting site on Arthropods. Points covered:
* What are arthropods? * What are their origins?
* What arthropod research is the Australian Museum doing?

United Kingdom

Crustacea (British Marine Life Study Society

Hermit Crabs (NE Atlantic) - Younger Readers version of the above

Anomura (NE Atlantic) - Great pic of hermit crab showing 5th legs

Hermit Crabs in Torbay

BMLSS : Crustacea: moulting, changing shells


United States

Hermit Crab Houses and Their Stinging Guests
By Randy Brooks

Introducing the Hermit Crab

Interesting webpage on hermit crabs. Includes pen drawings of hermit crabs in and out of their shell.Text and illustrations by Ton Veltman




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