Longwrist Hermit Crab (Pagurus longicarpus)

longwrist hermit crab
The longwrist hermit crab (Pagurus longicarpus) is often located within the crevices of
oyster reefs.

The longwrist hermit crab is common in South Carolina estuaries (where rivers meet the sea) and is often located within the crevices of oyster reefs. The longwrist hermit crab is unlike fiddler crabs and other "true" crabs because its abdomen lacks a protective exo-(outer)skeleton. To protect its soft posterior, the longwrist hermit crab uses the shell of a deceased snail, such as a marsh periwinkle (Littorina irrorata). As the crab grows, it looks for larger shells to occupy. The longwrist hermit crab feeds mainly on decaying plant and animal material, called detritus, and is eaten by various fish, birds, and crabs.