Caption: Hermit crab (Pagurixus sp.) in a marine gastropod shell. The genus Pagurixus is among the smallest known hermit crabs. In Moorea, it competes with a slightly smaller amphipod (Polynesoecetes kekeae) to occupy the same type of snail shell. A hermit crab requires an increasingly larger shell as it grows. When all shells are occupied, the hermit crab will fight another crab or simply remove a weaker rival. In this case, the hermit crab dismantles the sand grain shell entrance constructed by the amphipod, then eats the amphipod silk (or “glue”) as sand is removed. The hermit crab then uses the larger of its two claws to probe the shell in an attempt to grasp some part of the amphipod (often the antenna) to pull it from the shell.
Magnification*: x8
Type: SEM
Copyright 2012 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
Keywords: 06.01.12,2121901H,Pagurixus,crustacean,crustaceans,decapod crustacean,decapod crustaceans,Crustacea,Decapoda,SEM,Anomura,Arthropoda,Paguroidea,arthropod,arthropods,invertebrate,invertebrates,misc. invertebrates,gastropod shell,gastropod shells,snail shell,snail shells,empty sea shell,empty sea shells,empty seashell,empty seashells,sea shell,seashell,marine biology,marine crab,marine gastropod,marine gastropod shell,marine hermit crab,marine sea shell,marine seashell,marine shell,marine snail,empty gastropod shell,empty marine shell,empty shell,small crab,small crabs,small hermit crab,small hermit crabs,Polynesoecetes,Polynesoecetes kekeae,marine amphipod,marine amphipods,salt water,saltwater,sea water,seawater,intertidal crab,intertidal crabs,intertidal hermit crab,intertidal hermit crabs,tidal crab,tidal crabs,tidal hermit crab,tidal hermit crabs,marine crustacean,marine crustaceans
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