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

Elassochirus tenuimanus (Dana, 1851)
Widehanded 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 #16374)

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

Species Information

Carapace: shield subequal in length and width. Eyestalk stout; cornea dilated. Right cheliped longer than walking legs; surface with numerous granules of varying sizes and margins with larger granules or teeth; merus short, triangular; carpus wide and slightly convex and palm even wider than carpus, with compressed dorso-ventral area with the upper margin of palm making a curved protuberance; fixed finger short and wide at base and finger longer and narrower with strong calcareous teeth. Left cheliped slender and much smaller than right, with fewer granules and teeth; hand with dorsal surface slightly convex with elevated beaded margins on palm and fixed finger; finger with a cutting edge of a tight row of short, stout, corneous setae. 1st and 2nd walking legs short and stout, with dorsal ridge of carpus and propodus serrate; dactyl with corneous spines and a stout claw.


Shield length: male 23.4 mm.


Shield marbled with white and brown, the rest of the carapace with red, white and yellow. Right cheliped: ischium white with orange patches; merus with orange and greenish brown and 2 cobalt-blue patches, and an orange and yellow band distally and white marginal teeth; carpus greenish brown with white, orange-ringed, granules; hand light brown with light red streaks and white teeth. Left cheliped similar. 1st and 2nd walking legs: ischium orange and yellow; merus yellow with an orange streak dorsally, a large, cobalt-blue patch on each face, orange distally with red and white spines; carpus with 3 dark red stripes dorsally, a white stripe medially and yellow ventrally; propodus with 2 red stripes composed of a row of red spots, opaque white patch medially; dactyl cream with rows of dark red spots. Eyestalk; orange brown bands; cornea grey-green. Antennal flagellum orange to red-brown.


Mud, sand, gravel, shell or mixture of these.



Northwestern Pacific Ocean, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, to Puget Sound, Washington; intertidal to 388 m.
Distribution In British Columbia

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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Bernhardus tenuimanus Dana, 1851
Eupagurus tenuimanus (Dana, 1851)
Pagurus tenuimanus (Dana. 1851)

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: 2023-09-23 5:02:04 AM]
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© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC