The red leg hermit crab belongs to a family known as the left-handed hermit crabs, for their enlarged left chela (claw).
Coloration of the body is red
Left chela (claw) is enlarged
Hermit crabs are named for their behavior of inhabiting empty mollusk shells. Like other arthropods, hermit crabs have an exoskeleton, which they molt (shed) many times throughout their life. Unlike other arthropods though, hermit crabs have a soft abdomen and require additional protection. This abdomen has evolved to be curved and is used to wrap around the internal spiral of the mollusk shell and secure the hermit crab in place.
The red leg hermit crab has been shown to form relationships with specific anemone species. By actively moving the anemone to their shell, it is suggested that the anemone provides the hermit crab with protection from predators, camouflage, or assistance in luring prey, while the hermit crab transports the anemone around.
The red leg hermit crab population has not been evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). As a result, the current status of the population is unknown.
2 to 5 inches (7 to 12 centimeters)
Florida to the Caribbean Ocean