The Pagurus belongs to the Paguridae family. Hermit crabs are crustaceans with a curved and soft abdomen. It lives in empty shells of gastropods on which it sometimes attacks sponges or poisonous actinias to camouflage and defend itself. In case of danger it can withdraw completely inside the shell. The end of the tail of the hermit crab is suitable for strongly grasping the shell it always carries with it. When it grows and the size of the shell is no longer suitable is search for a new shell to protect yourself. Paguro nel guscio di Phalium glaucum
In the video we see a hermit crab that has taken possession of the shell of the sea snail Phalium glaucum, a marine gastropod mollusc of the Cassidae family. This species lives on sandy bottoms with posidonia meadows, in shallow intertidal and subtidal areas up to a depth of about 10 m. Shell of Phalium glaucum can reach a length of 60-147 millimetres. These shells are helmet shaped with a large body whorl and tiny spires. The surface of shell is smooth and uniformly greyish or pale brown.
In the Mediterranean Sea there are several species of hermit crabs that live at different depths: in fact we meet them already starting from the surface up to over 100 meters deep. We can also meet them in the submerged reefs, in the Posidonia Oceanica meadows where they easily find refuge and shelter and, as in this case, in the sandy area a few meters from the surface. It is therefore a species that easily adapts to the various environmental conditions.
They are particularly sensitive crustaceans and as soon as they sense a possibility of danger they lock themselves inside the shell with exceptional speed. Like all crustaceans, they feed on plankton, algae, decomposing fish and worms. In the world there are about five thousand known species, almost all of which live in the aquatic environment, but in the tropics there are also terrestrial ones.