Christmas is approaching fast across the world and many countries use the colours red and green to decorate during the festive season.
This week I came across a Hermit Crab that had also chosen red, but out of necessity. It is a rather large Hermit Crab that has obviously outgrown its shell and in the search for a shell that is more suitable it has found itself in an awkward situation. It obviously could not find a shell big enough, but it did come across something that would suffice. A red lid would do the job!
Hermit Crab using a lid instead of a shell
It chose to head for the water as the tide was coming in and could manoeuvre very well with its light covering.
Hermit Crab heading for the sea
Hermit Crab at the tides edge
It didn’t quite get the height of the tide right and got dumped, which actually has advantages if you use plastic as you float quite well!
Hermit Crab gets dumped by the waves
The beach was covered with smaller Hermit Crabs and I was intrigued to watch the others approach it with its brightly covered home.
Christmas Hermit Crab being investigated by other hermit Crabs
One actually went right up to it and I don’t know what they thought of each other, but it was rather fun to watch.
Christmas Hermit Crab makes a friend!
Of course I am now faced with a dilemma as I often see things on the beach that are not natural, but I also see a lack of large shells suitable for large Hermit Crabs. I would appeal to people to not take shells home that are suitable homes for other creatures. As to whether or not I should remove plastic lids…well I just don’t know! This is the second time I have seen this, but last time it was a small clear plastic lid and it wasn’t Christmas!
We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from Australia and we will be spending the day doing our own little traditional Christmas Day bird list!
Great photos! That is one ingenious little crab! What a shame its home is plastic, however. I am so sad to find plastic washed up here on the pristine beaches of the Puget Sound, often tiny pieces too small to pick up, but not too small for animals to ingest.
Perhaps you could purchase some suitable hermit crab shells in various sizes and put them near crabs who have resorted to plastic out of desperation. We used to have land hermit crabs and we provided their new shells for them as needed. Of course you couldn’t help all the crabs, but maybe a few here and there.
@ Wendy-thanks. A plastic home is better than no home!
@ Lillian-that beach doesn’t have many shells, so maybe moving shells from the other nearby beaches may help them out. I suppose it is always harder to find a suitable shell as you become larger than the average hermit crab!
Merry Christmas Clare and Grant. I have to admit I thought two very different thoughts when I saw the plastic shell. How cool is that, and “all that plastic in our oceans”. Wonderful find nonetheless.
a clever one 😉