We fish 6 lobster traps in the harbor during the season, and this year our last haul was on Sunday. We didn’t catch anything we could keep, but the last trap we pulled up had this Acadian Hermit Crab in it. ‘B’ thought this catch was better than any lobster he’s ever seen, because this crab was so much bigger than the much smaller hermit crabs we find in Wonson Cove during the warmer months. He actually brought it to school to show off before we released it.
According to Lisa Hutchings at the Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport, this crab decided to make it’s home out of a Northern Moon Snail Shell. Hermit Crabs are unlike other crabs and have a soft abdomen that leaves them vulnerable when unprotected. They search for shells from dead crustaceans like moon snails, periwinkles and whelk and make them ‘home’ when they find one that fits. When they outgrow the shell, they need to find a new one, and you can sometimes find two shell-less crabs fighting over the same ‘new’ shell!
North Shore Kid