Pagurus kennerlyi (Stimpson, 1864)
Common name(s): Bluespine hermit
|Synonyms: Eupagurus kennerlyi|
|Pagurus kennerlyi from 100 m depth, San Juan Channel. Animal is encased in a sponge (Suberites sp?).|
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles, July 2000)|
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Other similar species have no white band on the merus of the chelipeds.
Geographical Range: Aleutian Islands, Alaska to Puget Sound
Depth Range: Low intertidal to 274 m
Habitat: Many habitat types, from rocky to muddy
Biology/Natural History: In the San Juan Islands this species is common subtidally on silty sand bottoms near large rocks. Sometimes uses the hermit sponge Suberites.
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Front view of Pagurus kennerlyi in sponge. Photo by Dave Cowles, 2000
Here is another individual peering from its sponge shelter. The sponge is 2 cm wide. Photo by Dave Cowles July 2008
This is the same individual as was shown peering out of the sponge above. Photo by Dave Cowles July 2008
Pagurus kennerlyi captured at 100 m depth in a San Juan Channel trawl. The limpet Acmaea mitra is perched on its shell.
Only the carapace shield is calcified, and it is about as wide as long. The eyescales end in a single spine. Patches of setae occur in many parts of the body.
In this view one can see that the carpus of the right cheliped is about twice as long as wide, and also can see the white band around the distal end of the merus of the cheliped.
The dactyls of legs 2 and 3 are not twisted.
The chelae are covered with setae and blue or white tubercles, but there is no prominent ridge on the dorsal surface of the left chela.
The merus of the right cheliped has no prominent tubercles on the ventral side.
Here is a ventral view of another individual, also showing the lack of prominent tubercles on the ventralmerus of the right cheliped.
As with most hermit crabs, the abdomen is soft and curved. The male has uropods on the end of the abdomen.
Leg (pereopod) 4 is much smaller than the other legs, and subchelate.
Sometimes this species lives in a sponge, probably Suberites suberea. I cut this sponge open (the hermit crab is still alive but anesthetized).
Before I cut it open, the sponge was alive and actively pumping water out of the osculum visible on the top of the lower piece.
The hermit had withdrawn completely out of sight within the sponge. The cavity in the sponge was smooth and coiled like a snail, though I could find no trace of a snail shell.
I sliced through the "body whorl" cavity (lower cross-section), then again about 1 cm to the right side the cavity curled (upper cross-section). The hermit crab was far back
in the second whorl as shown, anchored even farther in with its uropods. I was able to remove the hermit crab from its position above only with difficulty.
Photo by Dave Cowles, July 2005
This individual has clumps of white, bristly setae onthe eyestalks and on the antennae, though the individual above did not.
Photo by Dave Cowles, July 2008