Red Reef Hermit Crab

The Red Reef Hermit Crab (Dardanus arrosor) is a decapod crustacean in the Diogenidae family of crabs. It is also known as the Mediterranean Hermit Crab.

The Red Reef Hermit Crab has a beige-coloured shell, called a carapace. The body of the Hermit Crab is hidden in the shell. The colour of its body varies from bright red to bright orange. Its eyes are at the tips of two eyestalks. The eyestalks are streaked red and white, and the eyes are bluish. It is a decapod, which means that it has ten appendages (two claws and eight legs). Its two red claws have a black or yellow tip. The claws have hair-like spines and warty tubercules. The left claw is larger than the right claw. 

Red Reef Hermit Crab

The shell measures 6-8 centimetres (2-3 inches) in length. 

It is native to the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, and the Indo-West Pacific Ocean (Japan, Philippines, and New Zealand). 

It lives close to the shore, on sandy sea beds. It is benthic because it lives on the bottom of the ocean. 

It lives in empty sea shells.

The Red Reef Hermit Crab is an opportunistic scavenger and predator. It feeds on crabs, small fish, and decaying matter.

Location of photographs: Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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