Alternate Title

An Annotated Checklist and Key to Hermit Crabs of Tampa Bay, Florida, and Surrounding Waters

Document Type



Fourteen species of hermit crabs, belonging to 5 genera, were identified from 35 stations in Tampa Bay and adjacent continental shelf waters. Ninety-two samples were taken from the intertidal zone to 15 m with a variety of gear including dip nets, trawls, dredges, and hand collections using SCUBA. Pagurus maclaughlinae, Pagurus longicarpus, and Pagurus pollicaris were distributed throughout the bay. These species were often sympatric, and were commonly found in seagrass beds, sandy substrates, and sand/mud substrates, respectively. Clibanarius vittatus, Pagurus gymnodactylus, and Pagurus stimpsoni inhabited the higher salinity waters of the bay entrance. Paguristes sp., Paguristes hummi, Pagurus impressus and Petrochirus diogenes were collected from the lower bay to offshore on hard substrates and sand. Paguristes puncticeps, Paguristes sericeus and Pagurus carolinensis were collected only offshore on hard substrates. The latter species is reported from the Gulf of Mexico for the first time. Isocheles wurdemanni appears to be restricted to high energy beaches. An illustrated key as well as information on distribution, reproductive biology, taxonomic problems, symbionts, and coloration are presented.

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