Journal of Ethology

, Volume 1, Issue 1–2, pp 91–100 | Cite as

New shell acquisition in the hermit crab,Pagurus geminus

  • Michio Imafuku


The process of how the hermit crab,Pagurus geminus, acquires a new shell was investigated in the natural habitat at Ezura in Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture, during the non-breeding season, and the following results were obtained. Hermit crabs acquired new shells most frequently by shell exchange between 2 individuals and occasionally by attacking snails. Acquisition through location of empty shells was not found. At the snail attacking site or the site of shell exchange attempts, sometimes many other individuals appeared and, frequently, confusing or complex shell changes were observed. The importance of introduction of fresh shells to a hermit crab population and the possibility for a certain individual to acquire a shell introduced by others through shell exchange attempts are discussed.


Natural Habitat Animal Ecology Hermit Crab Empty Shell Crab Population 
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Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michio Imafuku
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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