There are probably few divers on the globe who have not already encountered a hermit crab.
These magnificent small crustaceans can be seen everywhere in the world, both in the water and outside, where it is fun to see them move with their small feet. Funny animal, the hermit crab has 4 legs for movement, 4 for the placement and cleaning of its shell and 2 for its defense and transport of food (it often feeds on dead animals and is therefore a seabed cleaner).
The term ermine is most often used even though this crustacean of the parugoidea super-family actually hides more than one hundred subspecies including the famous coconut crabs.
One of the characteristics of this smart little crustacean is that it can cooperate with other species to ensure a camouflage (sea sponge), serve as a nursery (hydraries) or ensure its protection (anemone of the seas). In exchange, it offers food residues and / or means of transport.
Another great feature of the hermit crab is its soft abdomen. Unlike the crab, it does not have a carapace and therefore must seek shelter in an abandoned empty shell. The disadvantage is that this shell can not evolve with it and it quickly becomes obliged to change.
In some environments, this change of shell is organized as a “chain of vacancy” where many crustaceans wait for one to change shells to abandon theirs to the next.
If during your scuba exploration you have the chance to attend such a show, be still and patient and you will most certainly be happy to observe to the end the amazing move of this small animal.
For my part, I was able to attend this strange move in the cold seas of a destination that wants to become the first diving destination of Europe.
This short video shows you this really astonishing and rewarding move … to see to the end for the little wink of the animal.
… What a great day.