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Biology/Natural History: One of the most common intertidal hermit crabs on the outer coast, especially in southern and central California. Reproduces in June and July in northern waters. This species seems to have a strong preference for Tegula funebralis shells, which they will steal from one another. Do not seem to kill the Tegula to get their shells. Active especially in the evening and at night. Adults eat algae, especially large brown algae and scavenge dead animals. Predators include the pile perch, sheephead, and spotted kelpfish. During courtship, male grasps female's shell and may carry her around for a day or longer, occasionally knocking his shell repeatedly against hers. Mating is brief (only a few seconds; both animals must nearly leave their shells to mate).


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© Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory

Source: Invertebrates of the Salish Sea

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