Long-wristed Hermit Crab
Range/Geographical Distribution: Nova Scotia to Florida and Texas.
Habitat: Estuarine and coastal habitats from the intertidal zone to 150 feet deep.
Description: Gray or green/white body and tan/gray stripe down the middle of each claw. Claws are cylindrical with the right larger than the left.
Size: Can reach a carapace (shell) length of half an inch.
Food: Scavenger; feeds on algae, detritus, and other organic particles.
Breeding: Have sexual, internal fertilization and must partially emerge from their protective mollusk shell in order to mate. Females brood the eggs within their shell and then release newly hatched larvae into the water. Larvae go through several planktonic stages before becoming an adult.
Predators: Birds, fish, snails, octopus, and other crabs.
Conservation Status: No legal status.
Interesting Facts: The female’s mollusk shell size and quality can impact reproductive success. If the long-wristed hermit crab does not have a shell it will not feed and will soon die.
On the Coast: This small crab is the most common hermit crab on the Georgia coast. Long-wristed hermits are very bold and may be found inhabiting periwinkle, mud snail, and auger shells.