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Hermit crab. Cangrejo ermitaño

Calcinus tubularis

Description:

A species of crustacean of the Diogenidae family. Although there are other small hermit crabs, they cannot be mistaken due to their characteristic coloration. Hermit crabs have 10 legs. The first two are the tweezers. The clamp on the left is larger than the one on the right and they use it to defend themselves and to close the mouth of the shell when fully inside. They use the clip on the right for eating and drinking. The next 4 legs are what they use to walk. Afterwards, there are shorter ones that are to enter and exit the shell. The last ones end up in small tongs that they use to clean themselves. It has a soft abdomen and to protect itself it takes refuge inside empty mollusk shells. Its abdomen is curled so that it can fit inside the shell. As the crab grows, it must change houses. She begins by carefully inspecting the empty shells with her tweezers and when she finds the right one, she quickly moves out. Finding an empty shell is a matter of life and death for hermit crabs, so fights between them are frequent when few are available.

Habitat:

Rocky coast of the Lighthouse. La Manga (Murcia).

Notes:

The genus Diogenes refers to the comparison between the barrel in which this Greek philosopher slept, with the shell in which this crustacean lives. Some hermits are not satisfied with the protection of the shell and associate with anemones that threaten predators with their stinging tentacles. In our case, the hermit lives in a conch of Cerithium lividulum of the family Cerithiidae.

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2 Comments

eulalia rubio
eulalia rubio 3 months ago

Thanks, Isabela.

Isabela
Isabela 3 months ago

Great shot!

eulalia rubio
Spotted by
eulalia rubio

San Javier, Región de Murcia, Spain

Spotted on Aug 13, 2020
Submitted on Aug 13, 2020

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