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Look Alikes

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How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Pagurus hemphilli is mostly similar but has orange-red antennae. Of the very common intertidal species, P. granosimanus has olive-green legs with small blue dots. P. samuelis has a bright blue dactyl on legs 2 and 3 instead of just a blue band, plus it occurs mainly on the open coast. P. caurinus is often mistaken for a small P. hirsutiusculus, but P. caurinus has spines on its chelae and its 2nd antennae are reddish brown without spots.
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Habitat

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Intertidal tide pools and under rocks and algae, more abundant in protected water.
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Distribution

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Geographical Range: Pribilof Islands, Alaska to Monterey, CA; Siberia, Japan; smaller and less hairy south of Puget Sound, and even more so south of Monterey Bay. Common in San Francisco Bay.
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Habitat

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Depth Range: Intertidal to 110 m
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Comprehensive Description

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The carapace of Pagurus hirsutiusculus has setae but no spines, and only the shield is calcified. The shield is about as wide or wider than it is long. The carpus of the right cheliped is wider than it is long and is not strongly flattened. The dactyl of legs 2 and 3 is not twisted. It does not have longitudinal blue or white stripes, but does have some red stripes. The dorsal surface of the left chela does not have a prominent ridge or crest, nor a concavity near the midline. The ventral surface of the merus of the right cheliped has one prominent tubercle, but it is often obscured by the abundant setae. The chelae do not have stout spines but have closely spaced tubercles, granules, and setae. The ventral side of the carpus of the right cheliped is not greatly swollen. The long second antennae are mainly green, with yellow or white bands or spots. The legs are greenish brown with many setae, and legs 2 and 3 have white or bluish bands at the articulation of the propodus and dactyl, and usually a blue dot at the upper end of the propodus. Overall color olive green, brown, or black Carapace length to 19 mm.
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Comprehensive Description

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Biology/Natural History: This species is less resistant to emersion than is P. granosimanus, but it is more tolerant of brackish water. Many occupy small, light shells which they cannot completely retract into. They will also abandon their shell more readily than do some other species, such as P. granosimanus, sometimes even when they are berried. They seem to have definite shell preferences, but these may be different in different places. Favorites include Nucella lamellosa, Searlesia dira, Littorina spp, and Olivella biplicata shells. Diet is mainly detritus, though they will eat live prey opportunistically. It is known to feed on hatchlings of Nucella emarginata, which lay and attach their eggs in the low intertidal. Predators include sculpins. Females become ovigerous in late fall and carry a total of about 5 broods through spring and summer. Parasites include the parasitic barnacles Peltogaster paguri and Peltogastrella gracilis and the bopyrid isopod Pseudione giardi.
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Pagurus hirsutiusculus

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Pagurus hirsutiusculus is a species of hermit crab, commonly called the hairy hermit crab. It lives from the Bering Strait south to California and Japan, from the intertidal zone to a depth of 110 m (360 ft).

Description

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A female Pagurus hirsutiusculus withdrawing into a shell

Adults range in color from olive green to brown to black. Distinguishing characteristics of this hermit crab are white and often also blue bands on the walking legs.[3] The antennae are grayish-brown with distinct white bands. This hermit crab is also easily identified by the remarkable amount of hair covering its body. The carapace of an adult P. hirsutiusculus may measure up to 19 mm (0.75 in) in length, and the animal's body may grow to 70 mm (2.8 in) in northern populations.[3] Populations further south than Puget Sound are smaller and less hairy,[3] and have been recognized as a separate subspecies, P. h. venturensis.[4]

Range and habitat

P. hirsutiusculus is found from the Pribilof Islands, Alaska to southern California, and from the Bering Strait south to Japan.[4] It lives at depths ranging from the middle intertidal zone to 110 m (360 ft), generally lower than Pagurus samuelis.[4] It is commonly found in tide pools with sand or rock, and under rocks, logs, and seaweed,[4] and is the common hermit crab of San Francisco Bay.[3]

Natural history

As is common with hermit crabs, P. hirsutiusculus carries an abandoned gastropod shell to protect itself. Individuals from calmer waters will readily leave their shell when confronted with a predator, a trait which the authors of Between Pacific Tides attributed to the lack of surf.[3] the preferred shells are those of Nassa, Olivella biplicata, Nucella emarginata, Tectarius striatus, Epitonium tinctum, Alia carinata, Homalopoma luridum, Ilyanassa obsoleta, Urosalpinx cinerea, and Busycotypus canaliculatus.[4] In the San Juan Archipelago, Pagurus hirsutiusculus has been found to carry the parasitic isopod Pseudione giardi.[4]

P. hirsutiusculus mainly feeds on detritus, but is an opportunistic feeder and also feeds on seaweeds. The right chela of P. hirsutiusculus is significantly larger than the left and is used primarily for defense. The smaller left chela is used for fine motor work such as eating and selecting gastropod shells. The setae on the minor chela are sensitive to calcium, and help the hermit to judge whether the gastropod shell will be adequate to suit its needs.[5]

References

  1. ^ "Pagurus hirsutiusculus (Dana, 1851)". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  2. ^ Patsy McLaughlin (2010). P. McLaughlin (ed.). "Pagurus hirsutiusculus (Dana, 1851)". World Paguroidea database. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e Edward Flanders Ricketts; Jack Calvin; Joel Walker Hedgpeth (1992). "Rocky shores of bays and estuaries". Between Pacific Tides (5th ed.). Stanford University Press. pp. 269–316. ISBN 978-0-8047-2068-7.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Robert H. Morris; Robert Hugh Morris; Donald Putnam Abbott; Eugene Clinton Haderlie (1980). "Pagurus hirsutiusculus (Dana, 1851)". Intertidal Invertebrates of California. Stanford University Press. pp. 585–586. ISBN 978-0-8047-1045-9.
  5. ^ Karen A. Mesce (1993). "Morphological and physiological identification of chelar sensory structures in the hermit crab Pagurus hirsutiusculus (Decapoda)". Journal of Crustacean Biology. 13 (1): 95–110. doi:10.2307/1549125. JSTOR 1549125.
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Pagurus hirsutiusculus: Brief Summary

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Pagurus hirsutiusculus is a species of hermit crab, commonly called the hairy hermit crab. It lives from the Bering Strait south to California and Japan, from the intertidal zone to a depth of 110 m (360 ft).

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