Anemone Hermit Crab| Creature Feature

Anemone hermit crab is an included in the hermit crabs species. They reside at a depth of 27m and gather sea anemones to put on them to protect themselves. They are distributed from the Pacific region to Japan and Hawaii in the east. 


D.pedunculatus commonly live on coral reefs at a depth of 1-27 m. They carry sea anemones on their shells to save themselves from predators and cephalopods. The anemones are gathered at night and cover the crab, stroking and tapping the anemone until it comes out of its grip on the substrate.

Hermit crab appearance


The anemone hermit crabs can be identified by the anemone that they [ut on their shells. Their body is pale pinkish with white and orange blotches. 

The body and legs have brown-coloured bristles. They have two pairs of antennas, One is present in the middle with sensory organs, and the other is extended outwards.  

The first legs consist of claws, and the left is slightly larger than the right. The claws are used to protect, capture food, and steal themselves when threatened. The 2nd and 3rd legs are used for walking. The whole body of the anemone hermit crab extended up to 5 cm in length. 

Behaviour: Anemone Hermit Crab

Anemone hermit crabs mostly unhide at night, and they prefer to remain hidden under the rocks during the day. They have created the skills of coaxing the anemones off rocks and their shells. 

When they shed their old exoskeleton, they remove the anemone from the old shell and slowly massage the head of the anemone until it leaves. After that, they put them in their new shell. 


The anemone hermit crabs are carnivores and they are scavengers. They can eat every mollusc that they can open easily. 


The males can find the females when the female is fertile. The male often grips the female until she agrees to mate with them. 

The female can reproduce after shedding the old shell before her shell becomes harder. Mating occurs in the water. Fertilization occurs internally; until it is completed, the eggs remain inside the female’s body.  

When the eggs hatch, the larvae go through the plankton stage before metamorphosis. After that, it remains on the seafloor and finds a shell to take shelter.  

How long does it take a crab to moult?

How long does it take a crab to moult?

Moulting is a normal process for hermit crabs. The duration of the hermit crab’s moulting depends upon the size. Young hermit crabs moult in 1-2 weeks and do this multiple times a year. 

Average-sized hermit crabs moult in 4-8 weeks and do this one to two times per year. Mature crabs take 2-3 months to moult and moult once a year.

Hermit crab and sea anemone relationship:

Let’s learn about hermit crabs and how they relate to sea anemones.

Symbiotic relation

Do you know hermit crabs and sea anemones have a symbiotic relationship? It’s usual for hermit crabs to carry sea anemones on their shells. The sea anemones fix themselves to the shells. 

These have an interesting relationship that is different from other symbiotic relationships with which you might be close. These two creatures are the same and help each other.  

They also have a relationship that is called commensalism. This relationship shows that when one gets benefits, the other is not harmed first. 

Sea anemones protect hermit crabs| Anemone Hermit Crab

Sea anemones protect hermit crabs when attached to their shells. The hermit crabs can communicate with sea anemones to attend to threats. 

At this time, researchers are unsure how hermit crabs can talk with anemones. It is believed that hermit crabs communicate with the help of chemicals. 

It is noted that sea anemones answer to save the hermit crabs. Sea anemones have long, stinging tentacles that may kill different types of predators. A hermit crab with a relationship with sea anemones can be safer than one by itself.

The sea anemone gets food for its trouble

Sea anemones are not capacious eaters and consume pretty things they can find in the sea. They feed off bits of food left behind by the hermit crab. 

The hermit crab searches for food, and the sea anemone also gets food. This works out nicely for the sea anemone. Sea anemones have a reliable food source by fixing themselves to hermit crabs. It keeps them fed, and that’s adequate to make the relationship worthwhile. 

It helps sea anemones to get around better

Sea anemones have limited ability to move around. They need more mobility to get food. By joining hermit crabs’ shells, the sea anemone gets an excellent opportunity to move around. 

The hermit crabs carry these anemones everywhere. It gives them more chances to eat entirely, which is beneficial for the sea anemones. 

Without the help of the hermit crabs’ the sea anemones have a minimal area to exist. The symbiotic relationship permits them to travel over the sea floor. 

Will they ever kill each other?

Will they ever kill each other?

It’s infrequent that a sea anemone and a hermit crab will kill each other. But there could be a time when a hermit crab will disappoint. 

If a hermit crab is unfit to search for food, it might select to eat the sea anemone on its shell. This only occurs sometimes because hermit crabs benefit from keeping sea anemones. 

A hermit crab would like to keep its sea anemone above all else. Despite this, there are examples where hermit crabs have eaten sea anemones. 

There could be a state where a hermit crab might attempt to eat a sea anemone that is present on the shell of another crab. But it’s rare. 

Can you keep hermit crabs and sea anemones in the same tank?

Yes, sea anemones and hermit crabs can live in the same tank. But you must take the right set of marine hermit crabs and the correct type of anemone. 

Take some time to collect compatible anemones and marine hermit crabs. Make sure that you give the ideal tank environment.  

Many hermit crabs and sea anemones live together in a tank for years without complication. 

Are anemone crab reefs safe?

Are anemone crab reefs safe?

Porcelain anemone crabs are known to be reef-safe due to their symbiotic association with anemones and filter-feeding practices. It can live with smaller tank mates but may labor in the presence of more extensive and more vigorous fish.

Most hermit crabs are safe for reefs and will not prey on starfish, shrimp, or corals. If a hermit crab is noticed eating a fish, it is imaginable because the fish has passed, and the hermit crab has seen and consumed its body. They have an incredible sense of smell.


Anemone hermit crabs are beautiful creatures. They both have many relations and are beneficial for each other. They can live together in the same tank and not harm each other.

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