Story: Crabs, crayfish and other crustaceans

Hermit crab

Hermit crab

Hermit crabs make use of empty mollusc shells to protect their soft abdomen. Pictured here is Diacanthurus spinulimanus, a species widely distributed in New Zealand waters to a depth of 300 metres. As they grow, hermit crabs need to find larger shells to accommodate their vulnerable hindquarters.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10056296
Photograph by Malcolm Francis

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Niel Bruce and Alison MacDiarmid, 'Crabs, crayfish and other crustaceans - Crabs', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/8230/hermit-crab (accessed 11 August 2020)

Story by Niel Bruce and Alison MacDiarmid, published 12 Jun 2006