Hairy Hermit Crab – Pagurus anachoretus

The Hairy Hermit Crab, also known as the Rock-Shore Hermit Crab, is a species in the order of the Decapoda, and thus belongs to the subphylum of the Crustacea. Pagurus anachoretus was first described in 1827 by Risso.

Hairy Hermit Crab Pagurus anachoretus Crustacea decapoda species diving canary islands canaries atlantic ocean
Hairy Hermit Crab – Pagurus anachoretus


The Hairy Hermit Crab has an orange to brown colour. On its legs are bright blue and white stripes. As the name implies Its legs are also hairy. Its antennas are very long and brown-white striped.

The eyes of Pagurus anachoretus are stalk-like protruding. They are also white / beige with brown stripes. Sometimes the eyes themselves have a turquoise colour.

Since it belongs to the right-hand hermit crabs, its right pinchers are larger than the left.

It reaches a maximum size of 4cm.

Habitat and Distribution

The Hairy Hermit Crab lives on rocky ground, down to a depth of more than 100m.

When diving in the Canaries you can encounter it very frequently.

It also occurs around the UK, the Mediterranean Sea, the Portuguese Atlantic, Madeira and the Canary Islands.


Pagurus anachoretus lives solitaire. Its diet consists of carrion, detritus, algae and other small crustaceans.

One can rarely observe that the Hairy Hermit Crab lives in symbiosis with the hermit Calliactis parasitica.