Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access


A remarkable new crab-like hermit crab (Decapoda: Paguridae) from French Polynesia, with comments on carcinization in the Anomura



Patagurus rex gen. et sp. nov., a deep-water pagurid hermit crab, is described and illustrated based on a single specimen dredged from 400 m off Moorea, Society Islands, French Polynesia. Patagurus is characterized by a subtriangular, vaulted, calcified carapace, with large, wing-like lateral processes, and is closely related to two other atypical pagurid genera, Porcellanopagurus Filhol, 1885 and Solitariopagurus Türkay, 1986. The broad, fully calcified carapace, calcified branchiostegites, as well as broad and rigidly articulated thoracic sternites make this remarkable animal one of the most crab-like hermit crabs. Patagurus rex carries small bivalve shells to protect its greatly reduced pleon. Carcinization pathways among asymmetrical hermit crabs and other anomurans are briefly reviewed and discussed.


Decapoda, Paguridae, hermit crab, deep-water, carcinization, Porcellanopagurus, Solitariopagurus, Indo-West Pacific

Full Text:

PDF/A (7.34 MB)


Abrams, P.A., Nyblade, C. & Sheldon, S. (1986) Resource partitioning and competition for shells in a subtidal hermit crab species assemblage. Oecologia, 69, 429–445.

Ahyong, S.T., Schnabel, K.E. & Maas, E.W. (2009) Anomuran phylogeny: new insights from molecular data. In: Martin, J.W., Felder, D.L. & Crandall, K.A. (Eds.), Decapod crustacean phylogenetics. Crustacean Issues. CRC Press, Bocan Raton, 18, pp. 399–414.

Blackstone, N.W. (1989) Size, shell–living and carcinization in geographic populations of a hermit crab, Pagurus hirsutiusculus. Journal of Zoology, 217, 477–490.

Boas, J.E.V. (1880a) II. Wissenschaftliche Mittheilungen. 1. Lithodes und Pagurus. Zoologischer Anzeiger, 3, 349–352.

Boas, J.E.V. (1880b) Studier over decapodernes Slægtskabsforhold. Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskabs Skrifter, Naturvidenskabeli Mathematisk Afdeling, 6 (5), 25–210.

Boone, L. (1926) Unusual deep-sea Crustacea – some forms secured by the Arcturus Oceanographic Expedition. New York Zoological Society Bulletin, 29, 69–72.

Borradaile, L.A. (1916) Crustacea. I. Decapoda. II. Porcellanopagurus; an instance of carcinization. British Antarctic ('Terra Nova') Expedition, 1910. Natural History Reports (Zoology), 3, 75–126.

Bracken-Grissom, H., Cannon, M.E., Cabezas, P., Feldmann, R.M., Schweitzer, C.E., Ahyong, S.T., Felder, D.L., Lemaitre, R. & Crandall, K.A. (2013) A comprehensive and integrative reconstruction of evolutionary history for Anomura (Crustacea: Decapoda). BMC Evolutionary Biology, 13, 128 (1–28).

Brandt, J.F. (1848) Die Gattung Lithodes Latreille nebst vier neuer ihr verwandten von Wosnessenski entdeckten, als Typen einer besondern Unterabtheilung (Tribus Lithodea) der Edward’shen Anomuren. Bulletin de la Classe Physico-Mathématique de l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de Saint Pétersbourg, 7, 171–176.

Brandt, J.F. (1850) Vorlaüfige Bemerkungen über eine aus zwei noch unbeschreibenen Gattungen und arten gebildette Unterabtheilung (Hapalogastrica) der Tribus Lithodina begleitet von einer Charakteristik der eben genannten Tribus der Anomuren. Bulletin de la Classe Physico-Mathématique de l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de Saint Pétersbourg, 8, 268–269.

Dana, J.D. (1851) Conspectus crustaceorum quae in orbis terrarum circumnavi gatione, Carolo Wilkes e classe reipublicae foederatae duce, lexit et descripsit. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, 5, 267–272.

Fabricius, J.C. (1775) Systema Entomologiae, sistens insectorum classes, ordines, genera, species, adiectis synonymis, locis, descriptionibus, observationibus. Officina Libraria Kortii, 832 pp.

Fautin Dunn, D., Devaney, D.M. & Roth, B. (1980) Stylobates: a shell-forming sea anemone (Coelenterata, Anthozoa, Actiniidae). Pacific Science, 34, 379–388.

Filhol, H. (1885) Description d’un nouveau genre de crustacés provenant de la Nouvelle-Zélande. Bulletin de la Société Philomatique de Paris, 9 (7), 47–48.

Harvey, A.W. (1998) Genes for asymmetry easily overruled. Nature, 392, 345–346.

Henderson, J.R. (1885) Anomura. In: Tizard, T.H., Moseley, H.N., Buchanan, J.Y. & Murray, J. (Eds.), Narrative of the cruise of H.M.S. Challenger with a general account of the scientific results of the expedition. Report on the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger during the Years 1873–76. Vol. 1. Neill and Company, Edinburgh, pp. 897–901.

Hessler, R,R. (1983) A defense of the caridoid facies; wherein the early evolution of the Eumalacostraca is discussed. In: Schram, F.R. (Ed.), Crustacean phylogeny, A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 145–164.

Keiler, J., Richter, S. & Wirkner, C.S. (2013) Evolutionary morphology of the hemolymph vascular system in hermit and king crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomala). Journal of Morphology, 274, 759–778.

Kramp, P.L. (1943) The zoology of east Greenland: Medusae, Siphonophora, and Ctenophora. Meddelelser om Gronland, 121, 1–20.

Latreille, P.A. (1802) Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière, des crustacés et des insectes. 3. Familles naturelles des genres. F. Dufart, Paris, xii + 467 pp.

Lemaitre, R. (1996) Hermit crabs of the family Parapaguridae (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomura) from Australia: species of Strobopagurus Lemaitre, 1989, Sympagurus Smith, 1883, and two new genera. Records of the Australian Museum, 48, 163–221.

Lemaitre, R. (1998) Revisiting Tylaspis anomala Henderson, 1885 (Parapaguridae), with comments on its relationships and evolution. Zoosystema, 20, 289–305.

Lemaitre, R. & McLaughlin, P.A. (1995) Alainopagurus crosnieri n. gen., n. sp. (Decapoda: Anomura: Paguridae) from the western Pacific. Bulletin du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (4), 17, section A, 3–4, 273–282.

Lemaitre, R. & McLaughlin, P.A. (2009) Recent advances and conflicts in concepts of anomuran phylogeny (Crustacea: Malacostraca). Arthropod Systematics and Phylogeny, 67, 119–135.

Linnaeus, C. (1767) Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (edition 12) 1. 1327 pp. Stockholm.

Martin, J.W., Moffitt, R.B. & McLaughlin, P.A. (2009) Additions to the decapod crustacean fauna of the Hawaiian Islands, II. First record of the unusual hermit crab genera Porcellanopagurus Filhol, 1885, and Solitariopagurus Türkay, 1986 (Decapoda, Anomura, Paguridae). Zootaxa, 2057, 53–62.

McLaughlin, P.A. (1974) The hermit crabs (Crustacea Decapoda, Paguridea) of northwestern North America. Zoologische Verhandelingen, 130, 1–396.

McLaughlin, P.A. (1997) Crustacea: Decapoda: Hermit crabs of the family Paguridae from the KARUBAR cruise in Indonesia. In: Crosnier, A. & Bouchet, P. (eds.), Résultats des Campagnes MUSORSTOM, vol. 16. Mémoires du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, 172, 433–572.

McLaughlin, P.A. (2000) Crustacea Decapoda: Porcellanopagurus Filhol and Solitariopagurus Türkay (Paguridae), from the New Caledonian area, Vanuatu and the Marquesas: new records, new species. Mémoires du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, 184, 389–414.

McLaughlin, P.A. & Konishi, K. (1994) Pagurus imafukui, a new species of deep-water hermit crab (Crustacea: Anomura: Paguridae), with notes on its larvas. Publications of the Seto Marine Biological Laboratory, 36, 211–222.

McLaughlin, P.A. & Lemaitre, R. (1993) Review of the hermit crab genus Paguritta (Decapoda: Anomura: Paguridae) with description of three new species. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 41, 1–29.

McLaughlin, P.A. & Lemaitre, R. (1997) Carcinization in the Anomura - fact or fiction? I. Evidence from adult morphology. Contributions to Zoology, 67, 79–123.

McLaughlin, P.A., Lemaitre, R. & Sorhannus, E. (2007) Hermit crab phylogeny: a reappraisal and its "fall out." Journal of Crustacean Biology, 27, 97–115.

McLaughlin, P.A., Lemaitre, R. & Tudge, C.C. (2004) Carcinization in the Anomura - fact or fiction? II. Evidence from larval, megalopal, and early juvenile morphology. Contributions to Zoology, 73, 165–205.

Milne-Edwards, A. (1880) Report on the results of dredging, under the supervision of Alexander Agassiz, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Caribbean Sea, 1877, 78, 79, by the United States coast survey steamer “Blake”, Lieut.-Commander C. D. Sigsbee, U.S.N., and Commander J. R. Bartlett, U.S.N., commanding. VIII. Études préliminaires sur les crustacés. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard College, 8, 1–68.

Morgan, G.J. & Forest, J. (1991) A new genus and species of hermit crab (Crustacea, Anomura, Diogenidae) from the Timor Sea, north Australia. Bulletin du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (4), 13, section A, 1–2, 189–202.

Nyblade, C.F & McLaughlin, P.A. (1975) The larval development of Labidochirus splendescens (Owen, 1839) (Decapoda, Paguridae). Crustaceana, 29, 271–289.

Owen, R. (1839) Crustacea. In: Beechey, F.W. (Ed.), The zoology of Captain Beechey’s voyage; comp. from the collections and notes made by Captain Beechey, the officers and naturalist of the expedition to the Pacific and Behring’s straits performed in His Majesty’s ship “Blossom”, under the command of Captain F.W. Beechey ... in the years 1825, 26, 27 and 28. H.G. Bohn, London, pp. 77–92.

Poupin, J. & McLaughlin, P.A. (1996) A new species of Solitariopagurus Türkay (Decapoda, Anomura, Paguridae) from French Polynesia. Bulletin du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, 18 (4), section A, 1/2, 211–224.

Przibram, H. (1907) Differenzierung des Abdomens enthäuster Einsiedlerkrebse (Paguridae). Archiv für Entwicklungsmechanik der Organismen, 23, 579–595.

Reimann, A., Richter, S. & Scholtz, G. (2011) Phylogeny of the Anomala (Crustacea, Decapoda, Reptantia) based on the ossicles of the foregut. Zoologischer Anzeiger, 250, 316–342.

Richter, S. & Scholtz, G. (1994) Morphological evidence for a hermit crab ancestry of lithodids (Crustacea, Decapoda, Anomala, Paguroidea). Zoologischer Anzeiger, 233, 187–210.

Saint-Laurent, M. de. (1972) Sur la famille des Parapaguridae Smith, 1882. Description de Typhlopagurus foresti gen. nov., sp. nov., et de quinze espèces ou sous-espèces nouvelles de Parapagurus Smith (Crustacea, Decapoda). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde, 42, 97–123.

Saint Laurent, M. de & McLaughlin, P.A. (2000) Superfamily Paguroidea, Family Paguridae. In: Forest, J., Saint Laurent, M. de, McLaughlin, P.A. & Lemaitre, R. (eds.) The marine fauna of New Zealand: Paguridea (Decapoda: Anomura) exclusive of the Lithodidae. NIWA Biodiversity Memoirs, 114, 104–209.

Schalfeew, P.P. (1892) Carcinologische Bemerkungen aus dem Zoolgischen Museum der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Bulletin de l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de Saint-Petersbourg, 35, 331–342.

Schnabel, K.E., Ahyong, S.T. & Maas, E.W. (2011) Galatheoidea are not monophyletic - molecular and morphological phylogeny of the squat lobsters (Decapida: Anomura) with recognition of a new superfamily. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 58, 157–168.

Stimpson, W. (1860) Notes on North American Crustacea, in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. No. II. Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History in New York, 7, 176–246. [preprint of 1862 journal]

Tsang, L.M., Chan, T.Y., Ahyong, S.T. & Chu, K.H. (2011) Hermit to king, or hermit to all: multiple transitions to crab-like forms from hermit crab ancestors. Systematic Biology, 60, 616–629.

Tsang, L.M., Ma, K.Y., Ahyong, S.T., Chan, T.Y. & Chu, K.H. (2008) Phylogeny of Decapoda using two nuclear protein-coding genes: origin and evolution of the Reptantia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 48, 359–368.

Tudge, C.C., Asakura, A. & Ahyong, S.T. (2012) Infraorder Anomura MacLeay, 1838. In: Schram, F.R. & von Vaupel Klein, J.C. (eds.), Treatise on zoology – anatomy, taxonomy, biology. The Crustacea, vol. 9, part B, pp. 109–333. Brill, Leiden.

Türkay, M. (1986) Crustacea Decapoda Reptantia der Tiefsee des Roten Meeres. Senckenbergiana maritima, 18, 123–185.

Williams, J.D. & McDermott, J.J. (2004) Hermit crab biocoenoses: a worldwide review of the diversity and natural history of hermit crab associates. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 305, 1–128.

Wolff, R. (1961) Description of a remarkable deep-sea hermit crab, with notes on the evolution of the Paguridae. Galathea Reports, 4, 11–32.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand
A founding journal of Biotaxa