The hermit crabs in my salt-water aquarium are very tiny, but they're growing fast. And growth, for a hermit, means getting new clothes. I've provided them with a selection of empty shells, but just like growing kids, they have their own preferences.
I caught a couple of the hairy hermits involved in a discussion over a pretty white shell occupied by a green hermit. Brownie, in a boring mud snail shell, wanted to switch.
By the time I had the camera in hand, he had won, and Green was naked.
(Photos taken through algae-coated glass.)
|"A perfect fit!" says Brownie.|
|And, "What shall I do?" says Green. Note the black belly, normally hidden in the shell.|
|"May I have your shell?"|
|"No, you certainly may not!" (Pulls hood over head.)|
|Brownie's discarded outfit.|
|"Does this fit me?|
|Taking its measure. Too big.|
|"Life's not fair! I can't run around in public like this!"|
|On with the search|
|Brownie, up in the eelgrass, watches, chortling.|
|"This one fits, but it isn't my style at all. It'll have to do. For now."|
Shopping time: 12 minutes. A long time for a tiny hermit to walk about in the nude.