Picture 1   A hermit crab trying to escape from my fingers




Picture 2   Hermit crabs gathering at the root of a decayed tree.




Picture 3   They wear various shells.



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HERMIT CRABSz

When I lived in Oogasari Village as an elementary schoolboy, our home was surrounded with corallite walls. There lived countless hermit crabs by the walls. I remember collecting some of them from time to time for fishing bait. ( Of course you need to break the shells with a hammer, to use as bait. )

 

The main habitat of hermit crabs is pandanus forests along the sand beaches. Because most villages have fishing ports or concrete waterbreaks today, it will be difficult to find them near the villages. Their life span is estimated to be over twenty years. They are omnivorous and often seen eating fallen pandanus fruit. They spawn in the shallows from June to August, at night when spring tide is low.

 

They also seem to be facing a housing shortage. I have seen a hermit crab wearing a plastic bottle cap. Violet Hermit Crabs need large shells like those of Sazaes (turban shells). The hermit crabs living in Japan were designated as a protected species since  1970.

 

Picture 1   A hermit crab trying to escape from my fingers.

Picture 2   Hermit crabs gathering at the root of a decayed tree.

Picture 3   They wear various shells.

Picture 4   A Violet Hermit Crab. 

 


Picture 4   A Violet Hermit Crab. 

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By ATSUO BEPPU
Born in Tokyo in 1938. Passed his boyhood on Amami-oshima island. Moved to Amami again in 1974 from Tokyo. Interested in taking pictures, shooting videos and fishing.