Tuesday, March 13, 2018


One of my largest hermits found a new shell I'd donated. He tried it on, and, as they do, fussed about for a while, squirming, disappearing into the back spirals, checking the fit and the weight. A second hermit noticed and hurried over.

"If it doesn't fit, can I have it?"

Hermit crabs are usually polite. Hairy Harry, in back, waited patiently while Big Red thought it over, still holding onto the old shell, just in case. When BG decided that the new shell suited him perfectly, and wandered away, HH examined the old shell, realized that it was broken (on the far side, not visible here), and gave up.

No hard feelings.

The hermits are: Hairy Harry, a hairy hermit, Pagurus hirsutiusculus. They like smaller shells that enable them to run and climb easily: and Big Red, a grainy hand hermit, Pagurus granosimanus. They love a shell big enough to completely hide inside; they don't mind if it's heavy and awkward. They're in no hurry.

Hairy Harry is still in his old shell, waiting for me to provide another.


  1. No pecking order I see. Interesting that different varieties like different types of shells. - Margy

  2. And the ones that have lived in my tank for a good part of their lives are especially picky. They will not even look at a shell from the "wrong" species of whelk, whereas the hermits from the shell-poor areas of the beach will try anything, no matter how malformed or broken.


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