Hairy hermit crab (Pagurus cuanensis)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



Pagurus cuanensis is herpale red-brown in colour with darker and some white spots. Its legs are predominantly red. The carapace can grow to lengths of 1.5 cm. This hermit crab has a larger right pincer, about 7 mm in length. The upper area of the right pincer is strongly covered in hair, forming a matted fur, and is also covered in conical teeth, which are more developed in the mid-line. All the visible parts of the crab are very hairy. Long narrow eye-stalks with slightly expanded cornea nearly reach the end of the second segment of the antennule. The section of the carapace located between the eyes is rounded. The 5th and 6th segments of the right pincer are of equal length.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded from the Shetland Isles, Orkneys, Firth of Forth and Northumberland coast, the south coast of England, Welsh coast, Isle of Man, the north east and west coasts of Ireland and the west coast of Scotland.

Global distribution

Common Norway to south Africa and the Mediterranean.


This species may be found on the shore but is typically found in the shallow sublittoral to 100 m depth.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Long narrow eye-stalks.
  • Right pincer larger than left.
  • All visible parts of body are hairy.
  • Pale reddish-brown in colour with dark and some white spots.

Additional information


Listed by

- none -


  1. Campbell, A.C., 1982. The Hamlyn guide to the flora and fauna of the Mediterranean Sea. London: Hamlyn.

  2. Crothers, J. & Crothers, M., 1988. A key to the crabs and crab-like animals of British inshore waters. Somerset, England: Field Studies Council. [AIDGAP guide, no. 155.]

  3. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  4. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  5. Ingle, R., 1993. Hermit crabs of the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. An illustrated key. London: Natural History Museum Publications, Chapman & Hall.

  6. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line]


  1. Isle of Wight Local Records Centre, 2017. IOW Natural History & Archaeological Society Marine Invertebrate Records 1853- 2011. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-09-27.

  2. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset: accessed via on 2018-10-01.

  3. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  4. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-06-23


This review can be cited as:

Edwards, R.V. 2007. Pagurus cuanensis Hairy hermit crab. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 23-06-2024]. Available from:

Last Updated: 22/08/2007