PORT PHILLIP BAY


Hairy-legged Hermit Crab 

Paguristes sulcatus Baker, 1905

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Rostrum narrow, exceeding lateral projections. Ocular scales with about 4 apical spinules. Chelipeds subequal; dense setae obscuring red-tipped spines. Antennule peduncles longer than eyestalks. Pereopods 2 and 3 fringed with dense setae. 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 lobes with small spines. Female often with brood pouch on left side of abdomen enclosing eggs on the pleopods and covering dorsal side. Generally cream.

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:
sulcatus

General Description

Chelipeds (claws) subequal, with dense setae covering red-tipped spines. Moveable plate attached to base of eye stalks (ocular scales) with about 4 apical spines. Rostrum narrow, exceeding lateral projections. Up to 4 cm total length.

Biology

All hermit crabs have a twisted soft abdomen protected by an empty shell into which the animal can retreat when threatened. The opening to the shell is closed by the strong claws of the crab to protect the rest of the body and the animal can be almost impossible to dislodge. As the hermit crab grows, it must find a larger shell and in some dense populations, fighting for shells is a frequent event.

Habitat

Subtidal in rocks, to depths of 25 m.

Reefs

Soft substrates

Distribution guide

Southern temperate oceans, including southern Australia.

Species Group

Hermit Crabs

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

4 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Harmful

Not harmful but a nip from large claws could be painful

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

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, Hairy-legged Hermit Crab, Paguristes sulcatus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5461

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