Hermit Crab Facts
Mangrove Tree Crab
Purple Shore Crab
Striped Shore Crab
Crabs belong to an order of animals called Decapoda, or Decapods for short, which also consists of a variety of shrimp and lobster species.
Approximately 8,500 decapod species have been documented, with perhaps 4,500 of those species identified as true crabs.
Because most crabs have claws or pincers on the end of their front limb or limbs, the name Decapods more accurately refers to their ten legs rather than ten feet.
Our familiarity with crabs commonly begins and ends with the near shore species seen during a trip to the beach or a trip to the fish market.
In fact, different crab species find their niche in a variety of habitats, including fresh water, salt water and land. Most, if not all of the four dozen or so fresh water crab species in the Americas are found in the lakes and river areas of Mexico, Central and South America.
The top picture shows a blue-banded hermit crab, one of sixty different Pagurus species living along the world's coastal regions. The album presents a sample of the common salt water crabs found along the East and West Coasts of the United States. Please click on a link to learn about any species.
© 2009 Patricia A. Michaels