Photo taken by Spencer Meinholz

(Pitcture contributed by the family of Spencer Meinholz)

They say that home is where the heart is, but in the case of the Clibanarius tricolor the saying would go home is where the shell is. That’s right. This exoskeleton crab can’t go very far without its shell. The blue leg hermit crab depends on its shell for shelter and protection from the world around it. However, its shell alone is not all that it needs. This species of hermit crab, just like college kids on spring break, is a fan of warm areas equipped with beaches. More so, like the pirates, the Clibanarius tricolor is most commonly found in the beautiful, clear waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico (Hazlette 1983). Much of the research done on this organism has been conducted of the southern coastal regions of Florida.


Often times the Clibanarius tricolor stays in the  warmth of the water and is located near reefs and  along the sandy bottoms of the sea. It is not too often  that these crabs need to come out of the water. The  closest to being on land one would find them could be on the beach in a tide pool. It does not spend  more  time on land than it needs to. This makes them  less  predacious to land predators such as birds.  Despite  the fact they can be on land and soak up  some sun,  these colorful marine creatures are happy  scurrying the bottom of the warm waters they reside in protected by their shells (Bach et al 1976).

Gulf of Mexico











(Picture contributed by the family of Spencer Meinholz)