: Dardanus megistos
Hermit crabs in general are found world wide. There are about eight hundred known species of hermit crabs in the world, most of which are aquatic and live in estuaries, intertidal areas and reefs and on the sea floor at various depths. This particular species is found mainly in interdial rocky shore ecosystems of the east coast of Australia.
Hermit crabs are actually not closely related to true crabs. They are decopods which have 5 pairs of legs. Most species of hermit crabs have long soft abdomens which are protected from predators by the adaptation of carrying around a salvaged empty seashell, into which the whole crab's body can retract. Most frequently hermit crabs utilize the shells of sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs. The tip of the hermit crab's abdomen is adapted to clasp strongly onto the columella of the snail shell. As the hermit crab grows in size, it has to find a larger shell and abandon the previous one. Hermit crabs eat both animals and plants. For example mussels, small plankton and worms. They also are called scavengers because they will eat dead plants and animals.
Moslty crabs are scavengers. Its enemies are sea birds, fish, octopuses, crabs, and other hermit crabs.The reproductive organ of hermit crabs are located near and just below the crab’s heart and open to the outside at the base of the last pair of walking legs in the male. In the female, they are located at the base of the middle pair of walking legs.
Female hermit crabs usually lay their eggs shortly after copulating, however they can also store sperm for many months. The eggs are fertilized as they are laid by passing through the chamber holding the sperm. The eggs are carried and hatched in a mass attached to the abdomen inside the shell. The number of eggs is usually large, but depends on the crab’s size.