PORT PHILLIP BAY


Boxer Hermit Crab 

Paguristes pugil McCulloch, 1913

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Rostrum narrow, exceeding lateral projections. Ocular scales with 2 apical spinules, separate. Antennule peduncles shorter than eyestalks. Chelipeds subequal; carpus with rounded distal boss on upper surface. Pereopods 2 and 3 fringed with dense setae. Pereopod 4 not chelate. No pleurobranch above pereopod 5. Telson posterior lobes with 4 short spines. Pleopods 1 and 2 paired in male and forming copulatory apparatus, in female only pleopods 1 paired. Female often with brood pouch on left side of abdomen enclosing eggs on the pleopods and covering dorsal side.

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:
pugil

General Description

Claws (chelipeds) subequal, with setae covering spines along upper-lateral margin; fifth segment (carpus) with distal rounded knob (boss) on upper surface. First and second walking legs (pereopods 2 and 3) with dense fringes of setae. Moveable plate attached to base of eye stalks (ocular scales) with 2 spines. Up to 2 cm total length.

Biology

'Pugil' means fighter and the two smooth boxing glove-like knobs on top of the wrist of the otherwise spiny claws give this small species its name. Like all hermit crabs this one must compete with others of its kind and other species for dead snail shells. Individuals change shells more frequently than is simply necessary for growth and fight each other over possession.

Habitat

Low intertidal, to depths of 69 m.

Reefs

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern temperate oceans, including south-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Hermit Crabs

Depth

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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

2 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from large claws could be painful

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Species Code

MoV 697

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, Boxer Hermit Crab, Paguristes pugil, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5460

Text: creative commons cc by licence