Coenobita clypeatus

Land Hermit Crab

The Land hermit crab can be found in the coastal regions of the Caribbean islands. They live in areas where they have access to both land and water.

Length 10 cm
Weight 15 - 30g
Lifespan 15 - 20 years
Diet Dead animals, fruits and leaves
Habitat Areas with high humidity
IUCN Red List Status
Not evaluated
Data deficient
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered

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The Land hermit crab has a rigid exoskeleton on the front half of its body, like most crabs. Their abdomen is longer and softer, and they are also more vulnerable, so they look for empty shells where they can protect that part of their body. Due to the morphology of the animal, it can adapt to shells of different shapes and sizes.



Land hermit crabs use their claws when threatened, but most of the time they hide from predators inside their shells. They are nocturnal animals, having little activity during the day. These creatures are very sociable and normally live in groups. However, they can be very aggressive with other individuals of the same species, in the fight for an empty shell.



This species of Land hermit crab reaches sexual maturity in the second year of life. To mate, both males and females come out of their shells slightly so that the male can transfer the male gametes. The female lays about a thousand eggs inside her shell, where she hatches them. Later, the eggs are deposited in the ocean, giving rise to larvae that, after metamorphosis, will become Hermit crabs. After finding a shell and the first moult, these animals become completely terrestrial.



Land hermit crabs have become a popular pet species, so the volume of business has become unsustainable. Most of the individuals sold are captured in the wild, since this species hardly reproduces in captivity. They also suffer from habitat loss, due to pollution and the occupation of mangroves and coastal areas by man.

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