Sunday, 22 May 2016

KML Tricolor Hermit Crab

The tricolor hermit crab, or Clibanarious tricolor, is a member of the phylum Arthropoda and class Malacostraca. It can grow up to about 2 cm, provided it can find an appropriate shell. When the tricolor hermit crab outgrows its current shell, it searches for a new one with the right size and color. When it finds a suitable one, it may have to kill and eat the shell’s current inhabitant, or fight another crab who is hunting for the same shell. Tricolor hermit crabs live in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, especially off the coast of Florida. They prefer sandy bottoms near coral reefs, and stay in the water as much as possible. The class observed tricolor hermit crabs at sites such as Koch Key, Old Dan, and Old Sweat. Tricolor hermit crabs are omnivores, and scavenge the sea floor for organic material to feed on. A fun fact about these crabs is that they are ambidextrous, and both of their front claws are the same size.
A tricolor hermit crab from Koch Key that I am calling Eduardo
(courtesy of Dr. Voss)

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