Look out for the Southern Hermit Crab

Are you interested in looking for particularly rare, uncommon, or hard-to-find species?!

Then this species might just be the thing for you! The southern hermit crab Clibanarius erythropus may be found in rock pools in Cornwall and South Devon. They are common in western France but rarely settle in the U.K. These small hermit crabs have been found recently at Marazion and Mousehole in Cornwall. The previous settlement occurred about 1959-60 at Mousehole, Marazion, Lizard Pont and on Church Reef, Wembury. Some also settled at Trevone on the north Cornish coast, and survived until wiped out by the Torrey Canyon oil-spill and cleanup in 1967. The populations on the south coast lasted until the 1980s.

See http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1230 for more information about the species. There are also some really nice photographs with distinguishing features on this website http://www.aphotomarine.com/crab_hermit_clibanarius_erythropus.html The similar looking but larger common hermit crab (Pagurus bernhardus) can be distinguished by their unequal claws. See http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1169

Please report any sightings of this species with a photograph if possible.

Thank you.