Hermit Crab

Pagurus bernhardus


Hermit crabs live inside the empty shells of snail-like animals, particularly whelks and periwinkles. They live on sandy and rocky shores, where they scavenge on plant and animal remains. They have hard pincers, but a soft body which is hidden inside the shell.

How to identify

The Common Hermit Crab is the largest of several species of very similar hermit crabs and is often found in rockpools. Body is reddish brown and right hand pincer is larger than left.

Where to find it

Found all around our coasts.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Crustaceans provide a vital link in the food chain for many of our rarer species. Our seas and coastline are in need of protection if we are to keep our marine wildlife healthy. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Hermit Crab
Latin name
Pagurus bernhardus
Barnacles, crabs, shrimps and lobster
Width of body: 3.5cm
Conservation status