Special Introdcution


There are 13 species of land hermit crab introduced before, but actually after searching and seeking via the web, currently up to 17 species can be found.

10.C. cavipes Stimpson, 1858 

20.C. brevimanus Dana, 1852  

30.C. perlatus H. Milne Edwards, 1837 

40.C. rugosus H. Milne Edwards, 1837 

50.C. purpureus Stimpson, 1858 

60.C. violascens Heller, 1862 

70.C. clypeatus J. C. Fabricius, 1787

80.C. variabilis McCulloch, 1909  

90.C. compressus H. Milne Edwards, 1836

10.C. spinosus H. Milne Edwards, 1837

11.C. scaevola Forskal, 1775

12.C. olivieri Owen, 1839)

13.C. carnescens Dana, 1851

14.C. pseudorugosus (Philippine Land Hermit Crab) Nakasone, 1988

15.C. rubescens (Nigerian Land Hermit Crab) Greeff, 1884

16.C. longitarsis De Man, 1902

17.Birgus latro Linnaeus, 1767

However, among these 17 species, 5 of them only have names without any detailed species information. And 9 of the most common species are now widely owned by people who live in the U.S., Australia, Japan and Taiwan etc. The following species introduction classifies land hermit crabs into different species by their body colors, characteristics and sizes etc. Hoping that you can have better knowledge and understanding about the features of different species. This species introduction is merely a result of my observation plus reference on the information on the web and books. Please contact me if you find any mistakes through Email or discuss together in the Forum.

The habitat of land hermit crab is different for different species. There are 3 kinds of habitat:
Live near beach area, highly require sea water - C. perlatus, C. violascens, C. compressus
Live in the inland area, basically only require spring water -
C. cavipes, C. brevimanus, C. clypeatus
Live between beach area and inland area -
C. rugosus, C. purpureus
In fact, to define different species, we can mainly see the following 4 points:
1. If there are 7 ridge (////) on the upper part of the big claw
2. If there are some hair on the inside part of both claws
3. The shape of the 3rd left walking leg.
4. The shape of
sexual tube of male 5th legs (But generally, it is difficult to see that part unless they are out of shell, so it is difficult to use this point to define a land hermit crab.)

In order to let people know more about different species of land hermit crab, please kindly understand and permit me to borrow some pictures from some of you.

The most common 9 species

Coenobita cavipes Coenobita brevimanus Coenobita perlatus Coenobita rugosus Coenobita purpureus Coenobita violascens Coenobita clypeatus Coenobita variabilis Coeonbita compressus

Most common 9 Species Destribution (click to see larger picture)

C. cavipes

C. brevimanus

C. perlatus

C. rugosus

C. purpureus

C. violascens

C. clypeatus

C. variabilis

C. compressus


Other species


Reference Books:


總監修池田啟 監修仲宗根幸男週刊日本の天然記念物動物編42 - オカヤドカリ小学館

松久保 晃FIELD GUIDE 20 海辺の生物小学館

游祥平 符菊永共著臺灣的寄居蟹南天書局

陳育賢臺灣自然觀察圖鑑38-海岸生物(一) - 臺灣潮間帶生物700種 (一)渡假出版社有限公司

愛酷水族寵物月刊 AquaZOO news 10月號威智文化科技出版有限公司


Yukio Nakasone(仲宗根幸男), Land Hermit Crabs from the Ryukyus, Japan, with a Description of a New Species from the Philippines (Crustacea, Decapoda, Coenobitidae)

Reference Site:


Heart Mitt Club

The Crab Street Journal