Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom (New Series)

Research Article

On the Mode of Feeding of the Hermit-crab, Eupagurus Bernhardus, and some other Decapoda

J. H. Ortona1

a1 Chief Naturalist at the Plymouth Laboratory.

The hermit-crab, Eupagurus Bernhardus, is common in the oyster beds in the upper part of the Fal Estuary, and experiments indicate, while observations and experiments on the mode of feeding virtually prove, that these hermit-crabs do not harm healthy small oysters one inch or more in length, and the larger oysters, but that spat less than one inch may occasionally be damaged or eaten by hermit-crabs picking with their claws indiscriminately at growths on shells and stones.

E. Bernhardus obtains food largely by its small claw and third maxillipedes, and may at certain periods of the year feed mainly on microorganisms, and at others on macroscopic, but mainly tiny living organisms which have been disturbed and captured in the deposits on the sea-bottom. Food can be obtained by the use of the third maxillipedes alone.