Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another bud on the ever-branching tree

(Vacation series, #  umpteen and one)

This is a grainy hand hermit crab:

Pagurus granosimanus, Saratoga beach, Vancouver Island

He has olive-brown legs and claws, with bluish bumps, and orange-red antennae.

Here's my unfortunate Boy Blue*, with his mate, in my aquarium this spring:

Lighter olive-brown legs and claws, blue bumps, orange-red antennae.

These hermits are common; we saw many on Vancouver Island, and also here at home. Yesterday I picked up three or four in Boundary Bay.

But look at this one:

Unidentified hermit, Ocean Grove, Vancouver Island

He has the same brown claw with blue warts. The antennae, not visible in this photo, are a bright orange-red. But the legs are yellow.

Here's another, from "our" beach at the Edgewater motel:

Yellow-legged hermit

The legs are a plain yellow, with slightly darker tips. So are the claws, with just a hint of blue spots. But the upper parts of the legs and the eyestalks and mouthparts are a deep, purplish red. And the carapace, the upper body, is grey with pinkish splotches.

We saw a fair number of these, on several Island beaches, all very small.


I have looked through my Encyclopedia and all my other marine life books, several times. I've browsed through photos on the web. I don't see this hermit anywhere. Is it a separate species? A colour morph? An invader?

The salt chuck is full of mysteries.

*Boy Blue and Rex, the hairy hermit, succumbed to indoor heat at the aquarium-sitter's while I was away. I miss them.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about Boy Blue and Rex. They will be missed. Sigh.

    I love your series here on the hermit crabs you found. The 'unidentified' one is very interesting.

    P.S. You have been featured on Guest Heart Thursday today!
    Check it out at

    Thank you!!!


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