Hermit Crabs, Garden Key FL

On our trip to the Dry Tortugas, I looked for birds, of course — and did see some, but at quite a distance — so these little fellows had to take up the slack.  They were a tad shy, scuttling along until I bent over to get a closer shot, and then drawing back into their shells.

Hermit crab in worn shell on coral beach.

Hermit crab on scrubby beach.

Hermit crab on coral beach.Hermit crab hiding under a low bush.



  1. Jim Taylor

    I have a sense of empathy with hermit crabs. But to back up a little, at various times I have been part of groups where we were asked to imagine, “If you were an animal, what animal would you be?” The answer varies, of course. At times I have said I would probably be a chameleon, changing my colours to match the company I found myself in. Or perhaps a donkey, taking on whatever jobs got dumped onto my back, whether I liked it or not. I look at these crabs, and see myself again. Not that I have a hard shell, or someone else’s shell, but that when I feel I’m being attacked or threatened, I shrink back into my shell and hope it will have gone away by the time I poke my head out again.
    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim R – Oddly, not as much as it might appear. The island/key is small and always inhabited by a few people, so maybe they get used to us. Some of the hiding behaviour seemed a bit pro forma.

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