Coenobita brevimanus(EN)


Common name

Indonesian Land Hermit Crab, Indo.

*Red data status from Japan Ministry of the Environment: Near threatened


Shield length can reach 32mm.


From Indian to Pacific Ocean, East Africa to Philippines, Taiwan, Japan(Ogasawara Islands) etc.


May penetrate long distance inland, live under logs in the forest away from the sea. They are also found in areas of heavy vegetation. They prefer fresh water to sea water when offered a choice, but they are still bound to an aquatic life by their adopted shell in which it carries a water supply of low salinity.

Larval stages

Four to five zoeal stages.


Body colour is dark purple, purple, reddish purple, red bean and brown.

Shield is strongly convex, surface profusely punctate.

Eyestalks are of sub-circular section.

Antennal acicles can move, not fused with the second segment of peduncle.

Flagellum of antennule (1st antennal) are dark purple.

The bottom part of antenna are yellow-ocher color. Antenna are very long.

Left cheliped is bigger than right cheliped. No series of ridge (////) on upper outer surface of palm of left cheliped, its external face is smooth.

Palm of the left cheliped is circular in outline, outer surface very convex.

Merus of both cheliped transversely rugose. Outer surface of carpus with irregular tubercles, develop into spinnules at inner margin.

Only upper margins of right cheliped with brush of setae.

Walking legs
Dactylus of 3rd walking leg flattened, its external face is smooth.

Both 2nd and 3rd walking legs with rugose and punctate lateral face, upper surface of dactylus, propodus and carpus with spinulose tubercles, most abundant on dactylus.

Outer surface of propodus of left 3rd walking leg not separated from dorsal surface by a well-marked longitudinal crest(A).

The abdomen is short.

Male coxae of 5th legs
Coxae of males slightly separated, flattened and symmetrical. 

Similar to adult.


1. According to < Morphological and Molecular Evidence for a Stepwise Terrestrial Evolution and Species Delimitation on the Coenobita Phylogeny >, it suggested that Coeonbita hilgendorfi Terao, 1913 is the heterotypic synonym of Coneobita brevimanus. They could be apparently distinguished by the difference in the left cheliped:

A. Left cheliped longer than broad in outline, outer surface hardly smooth in any part, but covered with quite small tubercles → Coenobita hilgendorfi (Armored Indo)

B. Left cheliped nearly circular in outline, outer surface very convex and nearly smooth → Coenobita brevimanus (Indo)

Coenobita hilgendorfi only appear in male and some individuals changed their sex from male to female after moulting.

The relationship between their sex and morphology is worth of paying more attention in the future. When it comes to the analytical results of species delimitation, Hung (2008) suggest that Coenobita hilgendorfi and Coenobita brevimanus are the same species, and that the morphological type of Coenobita hilgendorfi only appears in the male individuals.

Coenobita hilgendorfi

2. Coenobita brevimanus with fruit shells has usually been misidentified as Birgus latro.


Reference links

  • 台灣生物多樣性資訊入口網(Taiwan Biodiversity Information Facility)

Reference articles

  • Bouchard J. M., Poupin J., Cleva R., Dumas J., Dinhut V., 2013. Land, Mangrove and Freshwater Decapod Crustaceans of Mayotte Region (Crustacea Decapoda)
  • Burggren W. W., McMahon B. R., 2009. Biology of the Land Crabs, Cambridge University Press
  • Foo-Kiat Yong, 1989. Studies on the Hermit Crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomura) of Taiwan
  • Greenaway P., 2003. Terrestrial adaptations in the Anomura (Crustacea: Decapoda)
  • Gross W. J., 1964. Water balance in anomuran land crabs on a dry atoll
  • Haig J., Ball E. E., 1988. Hermit crabs from north Australian and eastern Indonesian waters (Crustacea, Decapoda, Anomura, Paguroidea) collected during the 1975 Alpha Helix Expedition
  • HungLi Yuan., 2008. Morphological and Molecular Evidence for a Stepwise Terrestrial Evolution and Species Delimitation on the Coenobita Phylogeny
  • Little C., 1993. The Colonisation of Land: Origins and Adaptations of Terrestrial Animals
  • McLaughlin P. A., Dworschak P. C., 2001. Reappraisal of hermit crab species (Crustacea: Anomura: Paguridea) reported by Camille Heller in 1861, 1862 and 1865
  • McLaughlin P. A., Komai T., Lemaitre R., Rahayu D. L., 2010. Annotated checklist of anomuran decapod crustaceans of the world (exclusive of the Kiwaoidea and families Chirostylidae and Galatheidae of the Galatheoidea) Part I. Lithodoidea, Lomisoidea and Paguroidea
  • McLaughlin P. A., Rahayu D. L., Komai T., Chan-Tin Yam, 2007. A Catalog of The Hermit Crabs (Paguroidea) of Taiwan, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung
  • McMahon B. R., Burggren W. W., 1979. Respiration and Adaptation to the Terrestrial Habitat in the Land Hermit Crab Coenobita Clypeatus
  • Nakasone Y., 1988. Land hermit crabs from the Ryukyus, Japan, with a description of a new species from the Philippines (Crustacea, Decapoda, Coenobitidae)
  • Page H. M., Willason S. W., 1982. Distribution patterns of terrestrial hermit crabs at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands
  • Page H. M., Willason S. W., 1983. Feeding activity patterns and carrion removal by terrestrial hermit crabs at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands
  • Poupin J., Juncker M., 2010. A guide to the decapod crustaceans of the South Pacific
  • Poupin J., 1994. Quelques crustacés décapodes communs de Polynésie française
  • Poupin J., 1996. Crustacea Decapoda of French Polynesia (Astacidea, Palinuridea, Anomura, Brachyura)
  • Reshmi R., Bijukumar A., 2010. First report of the hermit crabs Coenobita brevimanus and Coenobita rugosus (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomura) from the Indian coast
  • Yu-Hsiang Ping and Foo-Kiat Yong, 1991. Hermit Crabs of Taiwan, SMC Publishing Inc
  • 有馬啓人, 2014. ヤドカリ (ネイチャーウォッチングガイドブック), 誠文堂新光社
  • 朝倉彰, 2004. ヤドカリ類の分類学,最近の話題 - オカヤドカリ科 (Asakura A., 2004. Recent topics on taxonomy of hermit crabs from Japanese waters – family Coenobitidae)
  • 藤田喜久, 2017. 宮古諸島水納島の十脚甲殻類相 (Fujita Y., 2017. Fauna of decapod crustaceans in Minna-jima Island, Miyako Island Group, southern Ryukyu Islands, Japan)
  • 水谷晃, 河野裕美, 2012. 西表島網取湾におけるオオナキオカヤドカリの分布 -宿貝組成と体サイズの関係-
  • 村上智一, 河野裕美, 水谷晃, 神野正樹, 下川信也, 2014. 数値シミュレーションを用いた西表島網取湾のオオナキオカヤドカリ幼生の追跡解析 (Murakami T., Kohno H., Mizutani A., Jinno M., Shimokawa S., 2014. Particle Tracking Analysis of Larvae of Land Hermit Crab Coenobita brevimanus in Amitori Bay, Iriomote Island, Japan)
  • 仲宗根幸男, 1987. 「あまん」オカヤドカリ生息実態調査報告, 沖縄教育委員会
  • 丹尾岳斗, 村主暁重, 水谷晃, 土井航, 河野裕美, 2014. 幼生放出中のオオナキオカヤドカリ周辺に出現したスナホリガニ (Nio T., Suguri A., Mizutani A., Doi W., Kohno H., 2014. Emergence of the mole crab Hippa marmorata around the land hermit crab Coenobita brebimanus releasing larvae)
  • 豊田幸詞, 関慎太郎, 2014. 日本の淡水性エビ.カニ: 日本産淡水性・汽水性甲殻類102種(ネイチャーウォッチングガイドブック), 誠文堂新光社 

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