E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Elassochirus gilli (Benedict, 1892)
Pacific Red Hermit Crab
Family: Paguridae

Species account author: Josephine Hart.
Extracted from Crabs and their relatives of British Columbia.
Photo of species

© Aaron Baldwin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #2145)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Elassochirus gilli in British Columbia
Details about map content are available here.

Species Information

Carapace: surface smooth; shield subequal in length and width. Eyestalk stout; cornea not inflated. Right cheliped surface smooth, subequal in length to walking legs; merus short and triangular, distal margin denticulate; carpus convex and produced laterally into flat “wings”, inner and distal margin serrate; hand with lateral margins parallel and fingers wide at base; left hand oval and fixed finger wide. Walking legs compressed and slightly setose.


Shield length: male 20.4 mm.


Carapace: shield grey and brown with light anterior margin and pale yellow median stripe; posterior part brown and maroon with grey and cream stripes and dots. Abdomen maroon and cream. Right cheliped: ischium white and scarlet; merus scarlet with white dots distally; carpus scarlet and orange dorsally, and ventrally; hand orange with brown fingers bordered in white; teeth white, ventrally yellow. Left cheliped scarlet and orange only. Walking legs scarlet and orange with white spots at junctions of merus and propodus and rows of small white dots on lateral faces of propodus and dactylus; claw brown. Eyestalk red and brown with distal margins white; cornea black with gold flecks. Antennal flagellum scarlet.


Rocky areas.



Northwestern Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, Alaska, to Puget Sound, Washington; intertidal to 200 m.
Distribution In British Columbia

Fairly common in suitable habitat.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-06-19 8:46:45 PM]
Disclaimer: The information contained in an E-Fauna BC atlas pages is derived from expert sources as cited (with permission) in each section. This information is scientifically based.  E-Fauna BC also acts as a portal to other sites via deep links.  As always, users should refer to the original sources for complete information.  E-Fauna BC is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of the original information.

© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC