Striped Hermit Crab

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Project Description

Striped Hermit Crab

Clibanarius vittatus

Range/Geographical Distribution: Virginia to Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico.

Habitat: Beaches, mud flats, and rock jetties.

Description: A large hermit crab with green and white longitudinal stripes on the legs.  Claws are orange and of equal size.

Size: Can reach a carapace (shell) length of over one inch. 

Food:  Scavengers; eat dead and decaying plant or animal material. 

Breeding:  Mate in shallow waters in the spring and larvae take about two months to develop. 

Predators:  Fish, birds, and larger crabs. 

Conservation Status:  No legal status.

Interesting Fact: The hardiest of all hermit crab species in Gulf waters; they can live without water for days.  Commonly use whelk and moon shells as protection.  The fourth and fifth pairs of legs are modified in hermit crabs to help secure the animal in its borrowed mollusk shell.

On the Coast:  Striped hermit crabs are common along the Georgia coast and often occupy the shells that beachcombers find.

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