Coenobita rugosus(EN)

Image©Parks Australia

Common name

Wrinkled Land Hermit Crab, Crying Land Hermit Crab, Tawny Hermit Crab.


Shield length can reach 19mm.


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


Live on the sandy beach, found under bushes and among debris during daytime.

Larval stages

Three to Five zoeal stages.


Body colour is variable, cream, purple, brown, bluish-gray, dark blue, dark brown, reddish-orange, pink or mixture of colours, with granules on the whole body.

Dorsal surface with dark ‘O’ shape mark on anterior of shield.

Black diagonal (/) stripe behind the bases of antenna, on lateral borders of shield.

Eyestalks are compressed in shape. colour is white or yellow brown.

There is dark green to black band on the lower surfaces of the eyestalks.

Antennal acicles are fused with the second segment of peduncle.

The bottom part of antenna are light yellow or light orange.

Left cheliped is bigger than right cheliped. There is series of 7 ridges (////) on upper outer surface of palm of left cheliped.

Upper margins of both cheliped with brush of setae.

A strong longitudinal ridge on middle of inner surface of palm of left cheliped below brush of setae.

Palm of left cheliped four-cornered in an external form, outer lower surface with a dark black patch in adult individuals.

Walking legs 
Lateral surface of dactylus, propodus of left 3rd walking leg flattened.

Outer surface of propodus of left 3rd walking leg separated from dorsal surface by a well-marked longitudinal crest(B).

The abdomen is short.

Male coxae of 5th legs
Right sexual tube is almost equal in length to the left, or the right is slightly longer than the left.

Similar to adult, but dark band on the lower surfaces of the eyestalks is not obvious for very small individuals.


1. Please go to New species related to Coenobita rugosus.

2. It is quite difficult to identify the species of Coenobita purpureus and Coenobita rugosus for some small individuals or white colour adult individuals, but for most individuals it was possible to determine by means of the existence of a black band on the lower surfaces of the eyestalks, outer surface of propodus of 3rd walking leg and male coxae of 5th legs.

3. Generally, Coenobita rugosus with bushy and more obvious granules (on outer surface of left cheliped) than Coenobita purpureus.


Reference links

  • Enviroment of Tokyo (東京都環境局)
  • Taiwan Biodiversity Information Facility (台灣生物多樣性資訊入口網)

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)
  • Bundhitwongrut T., Thirakhupt K., Pradatsundarasar A., 2014.Population ecology of the land hermit crab Coenobita rugosus (Anomura, Coenobitidae) at Cape Panwa, Phuket Island, Andaman Coast of Thailand
  • Burggren W. W., McMahon B. R., 2009. Biology of the Land Crabs, Cambridge University Press
  • Gherardi F., Mclaughlin P. A., 1994. Shallow-water hermit crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomura: Paguridea) from Mauritius and Rodrigues Islands, with the description of a new species of Calcinus
  • Greenaway P., 2003. Terrestrial adaptations in the Anomura (Crustacea: Decapoda)
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Nakasone Y., 1988. Land hermit crabs from the Ryukyus, Japan, with a Description of a New Species from the Philippines (Crustacea, Decapoda, Coenobitidae)
  • Nakasone Y., 2001. Reproductive Biology of Three Land Hennit Crabs (Decapoda: Anomura: Coenobitidae) in Okinawa, Japan
  • 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
  • Reshmi R., Bijukumar A., 2010. First report of the hermit crabs Coenobita brevimanus and Coenobita rugosus (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomura) from the Indian coast
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  • 三浦知之, 2011. 宮崎県におけるオカヤドカリ類の生息状況 (Miura T., 2011. Land hermit crabs recorded from Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan)
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  • 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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