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Clibanarius longitarus

Blue Striped Hermit Crab
Lisa Walton (2014)

Photo: courtesy of Ron Yeo,, 2013



Fact Sheet



Habitat & Distribution


Population Demographics

Investigation: An up-close look at the unique and complex appendages of an aquatic hermit crab

Gas exchange

Internal transport


Nervous system

Feeding & Digestion


Development & larvae


Evolution & Phylogeny

Conservation, Threats, and Importance



Hermit crabs are a unique type of decapod which utilise old gastropod shells as a portable residence to protect their soft abdomen. The Blue striped hermit crab is a widely distributed variety which prefers mangrove and mudflat habitats, and is characterised, as indicated by the name, by striking blue stripes down the 2nd and 3rd pair of pereipods or 'walking legs'. This species along with its close relatives are marine and are not adapted to live long periods of time on land. Crustacean bodies are equipped with numerous pairs of appendages that are highly specialised and vary immensely in morphology to suit certain functions around their head and along their body. An investigation was done on this species to try and observe and photograph some of these appendages up-close. Hermit crabs, like other arthropods, are quite complex invertebrates and have highly organised body plans for dealing with gas exchange, internal transport, excretion, the nervous system, feeding and digestion, and reproduction. This level of complexity has lead them to develop a range of behaviours and social patterns like territory defence, fighting for empty shells etc. Being a widespread and abundant species with no economic importance, the Blue striped hermit crab species is not under any threat of extinction.