Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Shy hermit

 A hermit in hand is worth a dozen under a stone.

Grainy hand hermit, Pagurus granosimanus

There are two main larger (but still small, up to around an inch long) hermit crab species on our shores. The hairy hermit is an active, brave little beastie. When I pick one up, he retracts into the shell for a few seconds, then pushes his way into the open again and takes off running. He likes to use smaller shells that don't get in his way.

The grainy hand hermit, the one in the photo, is shy and timid. He chooses shells big enough for him to retreat until he is invisible. And picked up, he stays inside until he's absolutely sure it's safe to show himself.

I waited for this one to realize I wasn't going to eat him. I waited. And waited; eventually he showed me his blue-grainy hands, (as if I needed those to identify him!) but that was as far as he was willing to go. And then he waited me out. I put him down beside his stone finally, still hidden inside his shell.

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Ermitaño en mano vale por dos debajo de la piedra.

Hay dos especies principales de ermitaños de tamaño regular (pero todavía menos de 2 cm.) en nuestras playas. El ermitaño peludo, Pagurus hirsutiusculus, es una criatura activa y valiente. Cuando recojo uno, se esconde por unos segundos dentro de su concha, y luego sale al aire, extiende las patas y se echa a correr. Le gustan las conchas chicas, que apenas le quedan, porque no le impiden el movimiento.

El ermitaño de manos granosas, Pagurus granosimanus, el de la foto, es tímido y asustadizo. Escoge conchas sufiecientemente grandes como para meterse tan adentro que resulta invisible. Y cuando lo levanto, se queda escondido hasta que se siente completamente seguro.

A este, le esperé a que se convenciera que yo no le iba a comer. Esperé. Y esperé. Por fin, me enseñó las manos con sus granitos azules, (aunque no necesitaba verlas para poderle identificar; su comportamiento ya me había puesto al corriente) pero ese fue su límite. Así se detuvo mientras yo esperaba. Por fin, le puse de nuevo al lado de su piedra; todavía estaba bien dentro de la concha.


1 comment:

  1. I'd have waited you out too! I found a hermit crab not long ago and was delighted - they are less common here.

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