Common Name: Bering Hermit Crab

Author: Avria Chrystall & Joy Trinh-Day

Scientific Name: Pagurus beringanus

Size Range: Bering Hermit Crabs grow to about an average of 2.5 inches. (6.4 cm)

Identifying Features:

Bering hermit crabs have 10 legs, however some of them aren’t fully developed and remain inside of their shell.   Three pairs of legs remain outside of the shell and the front two in claws. Its legs are often grey, brown and/or green. You can identify them by the red and occasionally white bands around their legs and joints.


The Bering Hermit Crabs like to live in partially protected waters particularly around rock formations and other rocky areas. They live around 17 meters from sea level and tend to live in areas that remain underwater even at low tide.


Bering Hermit Crabs are omnivorous scavengers. Their diet relies on what is available and where they live. They will eat algae and any other particles of food that they can find.


The Rosy Lip Sculpin is one of the Bering Hermit Crabs Predators. Seagulls also eat the crabs at low tide.

Life Cycle:

After meeting and deciding to mate, both the male and female crabs arise slightly from their shells.  The male gives reproductive material to the female in a capsule. The female will then put up to several thousand eggs on her left side where she will carry them until the yolk sack is gone and the eggs have changed from red to a dark gray colour. These eggs will burst at first contact with salt water releasing the hermit crab larvae to fend for themselves.  They will float in currents before until they are old enough to find their own discarded shell.


Hermit Crab. Retrieved June 1, 2011 from

Tilden, Eric (1999) Life Cycle of a Hermit Crab. Retrieved June 1, 2011 from

Stang, David (2009) Pagurus beringanus (Bering Hermit Crab). Retrieved June 1, 2011 from

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