A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife
Most species have long, spirally curved abdomens, which are soft, unlike the hard, calcified abdomens seen in related crustaceans. The vulnerable abdomen is protected from predators by a salvaged empty seashell carried by the hermit crab, into which its whole body can retract. Most frequently, hermit crabs use the shells of sea snails. As hermit crabs grow, they require larger shells.
Most species of hermit crabs are aquatic and live in varying depths of salt water, from shallow reefs and shorelines to deep sea bottoms. This two were spotted on a beach at Maiden Is, Antigua.
The 'other' shell in the picture was also inhabited by a hermit crab.