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Hermit Crab (Caribbean)

Coenobita clypeatus
Hermit Crab (Caribbean)

Range

They are found from central Florida south throughout the Caribbean.

Habitat

They are found on shallow coral reefs, tide pools and shorelines during the early part of their lives. As adults they live on land.

Body Traits

They have 4 walking legs, 4 small shell legs, a small pincher, a large purple pincher, and 4 antennae. Their shells can vary in how they look, because they find them and move in! They switch shells as they get bigger.

Habits

They are nocturnal. As they grow, hermit crabs abandon their shell and move into a larger one.

Diet

They are scavengers, eating what they can find including algae, small sea creatures and debri that has fallen to the sea floor.

Reproduction

They lay eggs in the water, where they burst and release the baby crabs (larvae). The larvae will float in the ocean for about almost 2 months then settle to the bottom and make their way to land. Once land bound, it will continue to metamorphose (change) to suit its new life on land. During this time their gills become more lung-like in function.

Hermit Crab (Caribbean)

Classification

Domain:    Eukarya
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Order:     Decapoda
Family: Coenobitidae
Genus:     Coenobita
Species: C. clypeatus

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