ANEMONE HERMIT CRAB
Dardanus pedunculatus

Habitat: Anemone Hermit Crabs typically are found on coral reefs and sand flats.

Average adult size: Adults can grow to be 5 inches across.

Natural history: Anemone hermit crabs probably are the most common species of the hermit crabs. Their eyes are green, perched on red and white striped eye stalks. Hermit crabs have soft abdomens, so they keep their back half tucked away safely in a shell for protection. This species, Dardanus, typically has small sea anemones attached to its shell. This is one of the ocean's classic symbiotic relationships. A relationship in which both partners benefits. The hermit crab gains camouflage and protection. The anemone's stinging tentacles keep the hermit crab from becoming an easy lunch for a hungry fish. And, when the hermit crab does not move it blends in easily with the reef. The anemones benefit by being taken to many different locations to feed as the crab moves around the reef.

Range: From South Africa north to the Society Islands.


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