Coenobita perlatus(EN)

Image©Steve Smith

Common name

Strawberry Land Hermit Crab.

*Red data status from Japan Ministry of the Environment: Vulnerable


Shield length can reach 25mm.


From Indian to Pacific Ocean, East Africa to Indonesia, Australia(restricted to Islands and coastal of the Great Barrier Reef), Japan(Ogasawara Islands)., Fiji, Guam etc.


Always located along coral beaches and close to the sea. They are found among the roots of trees and shrubs during the day. They usually move down to the sea at night to fill their shell with sea water.

My analysis of the relationship between distribution and body colour of Coenobita perlatus and Coenobita carnescens.

Larval stages

Five zoeal stages.


Body colour is red orange, bright red, reddish brown with white granules on the whole body. Some adult individuals are in white.

Shield slightly swollen just behind front, dorsal surface with white granules on anterior, posterior and lateral portions.

Eyestalks are compressed in shape.

Antennal acicles are fused with the second segment of peduncle.

Antennule (1st antennal) and antenna are red orange.

Left cheliped is bigger than right cheliped. There is series of about 6 ridges (////) on upper outer surface of palm of left cheliped.

Upper margins of both cheliped with brush of setae. Both cheliped with white granules.

Walking legs
Outer surface of propodus of left 3rd walking leg convex and round with white granules.

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
Right coxa produced into long curved tube.

Body colour is creamy white with brownish-red transverse band on both chelipeds and walking legs. Some individuals are almost white or pale orange. As they grow larger, the red orange colour gradually appear.


1. Juvenile individuals are creamy white with brownish-red or orange transverse band. However, some juvenile individuals in similar size, their body colour is already in red orange. I think the coluoration may be related to food supply and environment.

 2. According to < Morphological and Molecular Evidence for a Stepwise Terrestrial Evolution and Species Delimitation on the Coenobita Phylogeny >, Hung sure that Asakura (2004) misidentified juvenile individuals of Coenobita perlatus as Coenobita pseudorugosus.


Reference links


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

  • 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

  • Hung-Li Yuan, 2008. Morphological and Molecular Evidence for a Stepwise Terrestrial Evolution and Species Delimitation on the Coenobita Phylogeny

  • Kazmi Q. B., Siddiqui F. A., 2006. An illustrated key to the Malacostraca (Crustacea) of the northern Arabian sea part vi: Decapoda Anomura

  • Khanna D. R., Yadav P. R., 2004. Biology of Arthropoda

  • 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., 1994. Quelques crustacés décapodes communs de Polynésie française

  • Poupin J., 1996. Crustacea Decapoda of French Polynesia (Astacidea, Palinuridea, Anomura, Brachyura)

  • Poupin J., Juncker M., 2010. A guide to the decapod crustaceans of the South Pacific

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  • Little C., 1993. The Colonisation of Land: Origins and Adaptations of Terrestrial Animals

  • 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

  • Nakasone Y., 1988. Land hermit crabs from the Ryukyus, Japan, with a description of a new species from the Philippines (Crustacea, Decapoda, Coenobitidae)

  • 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

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  • 藤田喜久, 成瀬貫, 2016. 宮古諸島水納島におけるサキシマオカヤドカリの記録

  • 南鳥島における動植物調査

  • 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

  • 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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