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

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


© Aaron Baldwin     (Photo ID #2145)


E-Fauna BC Static Map

Distribution of Elassochirus gilli in British Columbia in British Columbia

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.

General References