PORT PHILLIP BAY


Common Hermit Crab 

Paguristes frontalis (Milne Edwards, 1836)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Rostrum narrow, exceeding lateral projections. Ocular scales simple, approximate distally. Antennule peduncles as long or shorter than eyestalks. Chelipeds very unequal; left propodi and dactyli and right dactylus covered with uneven spines and tubercles; propodi with weak lateral longitudinal ridge. Pereopods 2 and 3 with dactyli longer than propodi. Pereopod 4 not chelate. No pleurobranch above pereopod 5. Pleopods 1 and 2 paired in male and forming copulatory apparatus, in female only pleopods 1 paired. Telson posterior lobes unarmed. Female often with brood pouch on left side of abdomen enclosing eggs on the pleopods and covering dorsal side. Shield, pereopods and antennae salmon, only pereopods with few red spots at setal pores.

Source: Poore, G.C.B. (2004) Marine decapod Crustacea of southern Australia. A guide to identification (with chapter on Stomatopoda by Shane Ahyong). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, 574 pp.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Subphylum:
Crustacea
Class:
Malacostraca
Subclass:
Eumalacostraca
Superorder:
Eucarida
Order:
Decapoda
Suborder:
Pleocyemata
Infraorder:
Anomura
Family:
Diogenidae
Genus:
Paguristes
Species:
frontalis

General Description

Body red, claw tips cream. Up to 3 cm long (carapace).

Biology

Common Hermit Crabs move into larger shells as they grow bigger. They quickly retreat into their shells when predators are near.

Habitat

Reef and seaweed areas, to depth of 15 m.

Reefs

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

Southern Australian coast, except Tasmania. In western and central Victoria.

Species Group

Hermit Crabs

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

3 cm

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from claws could be painful.

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

MoV 1708

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Taylor, J.

Dr. Jo Taylor is the Sciences Collections Online Coordinator at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Poore, G.C.B.

Dr. Gary Poore is Principal Curator Emeritus at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Taylor, J. & Poore, G.C.B., 2011, Common Hermit Crab, Paguristes frontalis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/4022

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