Animal Species:Hermit Crab
Sydney has several species of hermit crabs, which are mostly found in intertidal areas of rocky shores, beaches and mangroves. Pagurus sinuatus is a common species found on Sydney's rocky shore.
Standard Common Name
The Hermit Crab is easily identified by its red colour and hairy claws.
The Hermit Crab is found from Sydney in New South Wales; Victoria; South Australia to Shark Bay in Western Australia. Also New Zealand.
The Hermit Crab lives on intertidal rocky shores and in mangroves and estuaries.
Feeding and Diet
Like most hermit crabs, Pagurus sinuatus is a scavenger but may also feed on crabs and other live prey.
Other behaviours and adaptations
Hermit crabs are unlike other crabs because their abdomen is not covered by an exoskeleton, but is soft and delicate. To overcome this problem, they use discarded snail shells for protection. Like other crustaceans, hermit crabs moult in order to grow, but when their shell becomes too small they must go in search of another one. They inspect the shells by holding them up and turning them over before leaving the safety of their current home. Sometimes the chosen shell just isn't right so they move back to their original shell and start the search again. Competition can be tough for the best shells and occasionally fights break out between hermit crabs.